Just when you think summer is over….whammo! Sun! This is good news, because I have an end-of-summer recipe for you. I've been wanting to make this since July, then time just got away from me. But today, thanks to a free afternoon and some awesome tomatoes from my friends Ben & V's garden, I bring you fried green tomato salad!
When I was in Sonoma for Amanda's 30th, we went to the Girl and the Fig, and I had this amazing plate of fried green tomatoes. I also had an incredible duck confit hash, but...we're here to talk about tomatoes. They were mixed in with arugula, fresh sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette, and topped with creamy fresh ricotta. I had only had fried green tomatoes on their own, dipped in ranch or the like, so this dish blew my mind.
Also… right now I'm reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (the book behind the Fried Green Tomatoes movie), so I mean, obviously the timing is good here. It's always a little disappointing to watch a movie after reading the book, but I kind of like doing it in reverse order—reading the book after watching the movie. In this case, it's been so long since I've seen the movie that I'm still surprised by everything that happens (and, a lot more happens in the book), but I can still picture Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch, and Mary Stuart Masterson as Idgie… and I love those two gals.
Anyway…this recipe is totally from my memory (and a scroll through my instagram photos), so I'm not sure how similar it really is to the original, but this take is pretty damn tasty. There are a few steps, but all in all, for just a bit of effort, you get great big flavor.
Fried Green Tomato Salad
2-3 thin slices red onion
Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
2 fried green tomatoes, still warm (recipe below)
One ear of sweet corn, kernels removed
Ricotta mixed with fresh thyme from 2-3 sprigs, and a pinch of salt
Salt & pepper
Make the vinaigrette, slice the red tomatoes and corn, whip up the ricotta, and then fry the tomatoes. To assemble, toss onion slices and a big handful of arugula with enough vinaigrette to coat. Place arugula and onion slices on plate, and layer fried and fresh tomatoes on top, add a pinch of salt, and top with corn. Top with dollops of ricotta, and drizzle with additional dressing.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients together.
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 large, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup flour with a pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
vegetable oil for frying
Slice tomatoes 1/2 thick.
Set up your breading station:
1. Flour, salt, & pepper
2. Egg and milk, whisked
3. Panko & cornmeal
Dip tomato slices in flour, then egg and milk mixture, then panko and cornmeal mixture.
Add about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed skillet, and heat over medium until good and hot. Add half the tomato slices, and fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.