Mmm, y’all! With the unofficial start of summer (and official start of white pants season!), I’m ready for all the delicious delicacies that come with a Southern summer. Think tall glasses of sweet tea (or an Arnold Palmer in my case) with a side of deviled eggs or some fresh cut watermelon by the lake! Are you drooling yet?
If not, just wait a few seconds, because today we’re chatting about one of my personal favorites, fried green tomatoes!
Fried green tomatoes (the food, not the movie – though the movie did take place in the South!) are a common side dish around these parts made from unripe (green) tomatoes coated with cornmeal and fried.
Traditionally, FGTs are made by cutting the tomatoes into thick (about 1/2-inch) slices then seasoning them with salt and pepper (or a bit of crushed red pepper flakes and garlic powder for our friends ’round the Bayou!). Then they are coated with plain, coarse cornmeal, and shallow fried in bacon fat for a few minutes each side, or until golden brown. (P.S. Shallow frying is preferred, as the tomatoes do not float in the oil.)
How Sweet It Is
Another option when frying green tomatoes is to prep the tomatoes with a “wash.” In this case, the sliced tomatoes are dipped into buttermilk, or occasionally a beaten egg, before they are ‘rolled’ in the cornmeal. Using a beaten egg makes for a slightly firmer texture than using buttermilk. While not always necessary, adding this dip before the cornmeal helps it stay in place during the frying process.
My favorite little nugget about fried green tomatoes? Apparently this delicacy originated when Southerners were forced to remove some of the tomatoes from the vine while still green to allow the rest to mature to the traditional red — the Southern growing season is so prolific that otherwise, the plant would collapse under the weight of all that fruit! Obviously, the next logical step was to fry up the bounty.
As you can see, traditionally prepared fried green tomatoes have that fall-off-the-fruit look that definitely would be divine for a rehearsal dinner or newlywed dinner party!
Katrina Runs for Food, Southern Living, Family Circle, Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings
So you want to get fancy with your FTGs? We’ve got you! I think the caprese salad made with fried green tomatoes would be a showstopper at any dinner party I was invited to!
Oven-fried green tomato caprese stacks by How Sweet It Is, fried green tomato po’boy and BLT slider from Southern Living
And y’all know us! We can’t sneak away without including a few (mini) options fit for a wedding! I know Mrs. Thomas is just dying over the baby-sized bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sliders! Who wouldn’t? Not to mention I’m all about the abbreviation on the sign – way too fun!
BLFGT sliders photo by The Nichols via Southern Weddings, individual fried green tomatoes photo by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings, mini fried green tomato bites by Blue Plate Chicago
Y’all, I’m embarrassed to admit that this true-blue Southern girl has never even attempted to make fried green tomatoes… although I’ve eaten my fair share! I’m thinking this recipe might be my best bet. But, I also love this healthier version as well!
Have you tried your hand at homemade FGT’s? Or do you have a fabulous recipe for someone who is a bit culinarily challenged? I’d love it if you’d share it with me!
Adam Barnes is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!