Anyone dining out in the South during the summer months knows that when you spot fried green tomatoes on the menu, you order the fried green tomatoes. It’s almost unthinkable to skip over the iconic dish that sings summertime in our region. You might find them as a popular side or offered as an off-the-menu seasonal special that’s prepared in a new, creative, flavorful way. Order a plate of the gems stacked high (with extra buttermilk dipping sauce on the side), or try them as an addition to a favorite dish. Top a burger, pile on a BLT, serve with shrimp Remoulade, toss in a salad, slice and serve with mozzarella and basil, transform them into muffins.
While this Southern staple deserves its fame by just simply being delicious, it also has Alabama native Fannie Flagg to thank for its unwavering popularity. In 1987, Flagg published the novel Fried Green Tomatoes, which would later be adapted into a major motion picture with an all-star cast like Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Mary Louise Parker.
Southern Living’s Test Kitchen thinks the best part of this dish is that anyone can make and enjoy them at home. To serve four to six people, the ingredient list is fairly simple and straightforward: one egg, cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Fried green tomatoes start with unripe green tomatoes, which are coated with cornmeal and later fried. You’ll start with 3 medium-size green tomatoes, which you’ll cut into 1/3-inch slices, dredge through the cornmeal mixture, and fry until golden brown.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
Salt to taste
How to Make It
Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside.
Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan.
Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.
Perfect for a summer cookout or family gathering, pair this with grilled chicken, burgers, BBQ, or even a pork chop.