Fried Green Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

We're not going to lie—the crisp, golden-brown breading is the tastiest part of a fried green tomato. Yellow cornmeal (use fine, not coarse ground) has good flavor, texture, and color, but the secret to a great crust is to add a little all-purpose flour to the breading mixture. This helps coat the tomato slices evenly without clumping or caking. Now that you've mastered the equation for how to fry those tomatoes to perfection, don't even think about skimping on the Buttermilk Dressing. A good, creamy dressing is a must when it comes to serving fried green tomatoes. Our recipe calls for chives, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice to create a cool and fresh condiment that's wonderful when topping this savory treat, but also an absolute standout for dressing the season's crisp and refreshing salads. This recipe comes together in 30 minutes so make sure your crew doesn't stray too far—they're best served as fast as you can plate them.

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Photo: Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves


  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 ½ tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 ½ tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup whole buttermilk, divided

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • ¾ cup fine yellow cornmeal

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 pound green tomatoes (about 3), cut into 1/3-inch slices (12 slices)

  • 8 cups assorted mixed lettuces (such as arugula and butter lettuce)

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)


  1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients, ½ cup of the buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Cover; chill buttermilk dressing until ready to serve.

  2. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 3 inches in a large cast-iron Dutch oven; heat over high to 350°F. Whisk together egg and remaining ½ cup buttermilk in a shallow dish. Combine cornmeal, cayenne, ½ cup of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper in a second shallow dish. Combine remaining ½ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a third shallow dish. Working with 1 slice at a time, dredge tomato in flour mixture, then in egg mixture, and then in cornmeal-flour mixture.

  3. Fry tomato slices, in 2 batches, in hot oil until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes total, turning slices halfway through frying. Drain on paper towels.

  4. Combine lettuces and red onion in a large bowl. Toss lettuce mixture with ¼ cup of the buttermilk dressing, reserving the rest. Divide salad among 4 plates, top each with 3 fried green tomatoes. Drizzle evenly with remaining dressing.

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