I’ll take fried green tomatoes almost any way you throw them at me, but I like to boost the classic preparation of this Southern specialty by adding grated hard cheese to the breadcrumb mixture. The cheese melts into the crusts as they fry — tasty, of course, but also useful for keeping the breading together.
- 2 to 3 medium green tomatoes
- Dash of sea salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3-1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend, divided
- 2 large eggs
- Dollop of fresh cream or half-and-half
- 1-1/2 cups finely ground breadcrumbs (Note: If using store-bought seasoned breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs from herbed breads, be sure to adjust the other seasonings in this recipe to suit your tastes.)
- 3/4 cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Gruyere (Note: A nutty cheese is particularly nice with the zesty flavor of green tomatoes.)
- 3/4 cup peanut oil or other frying oil
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle with a little salt.
- Let the tomato slices rest while you prepare the breading mixtures.
- Mix together the flours, and feel free to adjust the proportion of white to whole-wheat flour.
- Using at least a little bit of all-purpose white flour will help keep the breading light.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning blend.
- Pour onto a plate or low bowl, and set aside.
- Beat the eggs with the cream and 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning.
- Pour into a low dish and set aside.
- If using homemade breadcrumbs, pulverize in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
- Mix in the cheese and 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning, but don’t overdo the seasoning if your breadcrumbs are pre-seasoned.
- Pour the breadcrumb mixture onto a plate or low bowl, and set aside.
- Dredge each tomato first in the flour, then in the egg wash, letting the excess drip back into the bowl; then coat thoroughly with the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
- Let the tomato slices rest on a plate while you heat the oil.
- Heat the oil in a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the breaded tomatoes in batches — don’t crowd them in the pan — until golden and crispy on each side, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Remove with a metal slotted spoon, and drip-dry on paper towels.
- Serve warm, with a sprinkle of the Cajun seasoning over them.
Try offering fried green tomatoes as a snack or appetizer, a sandwich filling or salad topping, or as a main course with whole-grain pilaf and steamed vegetables. In late summer and early fall, I like to serve them side-by-side with fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes for an interesting and playful garden-fresh meal. And if you want to get really tomato-crazy, try roasting some tomatoes and blending them with creamy roasted garlic, fresh herbs, and a soft cheese, sour cream, thick yogurt, or crème fraîche, for a tomato-ey dip to accompany your fresh and fried tomatoes!
Find more delicious green tomato recipes in Glorious Green Tomato Recipes.