Late Spring and early Summer is the prime time to find green tomatoes at the Farmers Market. What exactly are green tomatoes? There are two types of green tomatoes, those that are green when fully ripe (generally heirloom varieties), and unripe tomatoes. Here are two recipes for a favorite dish using this seasonal fruit.
Fried Green Tomatoes
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne
1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
fresh ground black pepper
4 large unripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, ends removed
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
hot pepper sauce, for serving
lemon wedge, for serving
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, and cayenne together.
Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides well.
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil.
When the oil is hot, pan-fry the tomatoes (in batches if necessary) until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Carefully remove the tomatoes and drain on paper towels.
Serve with hot pepper sauce and lemon.
Crunchy “Baked” Fried Green Tomatoes
4 large firm green tomatoes
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Pam Cooking Spray or olive oil for drizzling
Slice tomatoes 1/8 inch thick. On a large plate mix flour, salt, and pepper. Place yogurt and buttermilk on a second plate, and Panko Bread Crumbs on a third plate. Coat tomatoes with the flour mixture, then the yogurt – buttermilk mixture (you may want to put the yogurt in a small bowl so that dipping them is easier), then the Panko Bread Crumbs.
Place coated tomatoes on a cookie sheet and spray with Pam Cooking Spray liberally on both sides or drizzle them on both sides with olive oil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 7 minutes on one side then flip them over and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with extra salt and serve warm.
Buttermilk dipping sauce:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives
In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped chives and stir to combine. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to taste. Chill until ready to serve.