There’s something about the simplicity of a fried tomato that is undeniably delicious and although you can fry both green and ripe tomatoes, it’s the green variety that’s most popular. We’ve come to know these cornmeal-crusted goodies as an iconic dish of the American South, but recipes for them have been found in 19th-century church cookbooks from the Midwest.
Regardless of their origin, fried green tomatoes are easy to prepare, use just a handful of ingredients, and make a great summer side dish.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 6 large green tomatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Core the tomatoes, cut them into 3/8-inch thick slices and set aside.
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well) until completely blended.
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in another shallow dish and set on the counter next to the egg mixture.
- Heat about 1/8-inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat (350° to 375°F).
- Dip individual slices of tomato in the egg mixture and turn them once to coat.
- Let any excess egg drip off, then coat the them in the cornmeal mixture.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan in a single layer and fry until the coating is crisp and golden and the tomatoes are tender, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side.
- Transfer cooked tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle lightly with salt, and repeat the process with the remaining slices (see notes).
- Once the tomatoes have been blotted on paper towels, you can place them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and transfer to a 200°F oven to keep warm.
- Keep the flavors clean: For best results when frying the tomatoes, wipe out your pan with paper towels between batches and add fresh oil each time.
- Keeping already cooked tomatoes warm: Don’t stack the cooked tomatoes because the residual heat between them will create steam and ruin the crispness of the coating.