As a first-year gardener I now understand why fried green tomatoes are a thing.
If you have a garden or have ever gardened, then you know what I’m talking about. You’ve likely been inundated with fresh veggies—particularly tomatoes— come harvest season. That seems like a good thing but it can actually be somewhat overwhelming. Of course, you can give away some of your tomatoes and other veggies but sometimes people are already overloaded with tomatoes from their own garden or they’ve already been given vegetables from another gardener friend of theirs. And tomatoes don’t last all that long. So… what’s a gardener to do?
Well, start using up your harvest early by picking those tomatoes when they’re green! Green tomatoes can be used instead of red tomatoes in almost all recipes. The difference to keep in mind is that their flavor is a little more tart and they are much more firm. The fact that they are firm is actually what makes them perfect for frying. This is most likely why, when you think of green tomatoes, the first recipe that comes to mind is the classic—fried green tomatoes. Their firm state holds up really well when fried and the heat softens them just enough so the end result is a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth fried tomato.
You can fry red tomatoes. However, the end result is going to be a lot more squishy and potentially watery so you might loose a bit of that crispy coating that makes them so good.
You may be wondering if there’s a sauce that goes with fried green tomatoes. Why yes, there is. 🙂 My favorite is marinara sauce. You could also try ranch dressing. If you’re looking to get some mileage out of these, you can turn your fried tomatoes into a full casserole. Start with cooked pasta, layer on marinara sauce, top with friend green tomatoes, layer on mozzarella cheese and then bake at 400˚ until the cheese is melted. Yum! A nice little vegetarian meal.
Making fried green tomatoes is really easy but you will need a few tools: