Fried Green Tomatoes
I have never seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, and I’ve always wondered if maybe I was missing something. More than that, though, I’ve paused more than once when I hear the title. Do you people actually eat green tomatoes? Is that really a thing? For the longest time, I never knew if it was a real dish, or just a catchy name for a movie. At some point, I realized that fried green tomatoes were, indeed, something people ate, but I had zero interest in trying them, given my dislike for tomatoes in general.
That all changed last fall when my Chief Culinary Consultant and I were in DC for the weekend and met up with some friends for dinner at Lightfoot Restaurant in Leesburg, VA. It’s a fabulous restaurant that I would highly recommend if you ever find yourself in that area. We ordered a ton of appetizers to share, including fried green tomatoes. I wasn’t going to try them, but the jalapeño cheddar and chili cream sauce on top reeled me in. Truth be told, they were fabulous. As soon as we got home, I wanted to try making them myself, but the garden was already done for the year, so I waited… And here we are!
My mom graciously donated a few of her green tomatoes to me so I could finally make my own fried green tomatoes. These tomatoes are incredibly easy to make and are a perfect appetizer, light lunch or side dish. The baking powder and baking soda in the egg and buttermilk mixture gives the fried tomato a light and crispy texture, while the cornmeal added to the final flour mixture makes them crunchy, as well.
(I ran out of cornmeal and substituted panko bread crumbs for what was missing, and I think it was a fine substitution.)
You can serve these plain (we ate them like this, straight from the pan), or with a dipping sauce. I loved the sauce that was served at the restaurant, but I couldn’t remember it well enough to recreate it; a simple marinara sauce would be great, as well as a spicy cream sauce.
I sometimes resist things that I’m convinced I’m going to dislike, but I’m thankful that I gave fried green tomatoes a try; now I know what I was missing!
One year ago: Blueberry Cobbler
Two years ago: Easy Homemade French Fries
Four years ago: Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 2½ cups (312.5 g) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1½ cups (238.5 g) cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) baking soda
- 2 medium green tomatoes, about 12 ounces each, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick (for a total of 12 to 14 slices)
- 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) vegetable oil
- Place 1 cup of the flour in a large shallow dish.
- Whisk together the remaining 1½ cups flour, the cornmeal, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a second large shallow dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda (the mixture may bubble and foam).
- Working with several slices at a time, coat the tomatoes in the flour and shake any excess flour from each piece. Using tongs, dip the tomatoes into the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat and allowing the excess to drip off. Coat the tomato slices with the seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess. Place the tomatoes on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tomato slices.
- Pour enough oil into a 12-inch cast iron skillet to measure ⅓-inch in depth. Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently lay a single layer of tomato slices in the oil (be sure not to crowd the pan) and turn the heat down to medium. Fry until the tomatoes are a deep, golden brown on the first side, 2 to 2½ minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil at a temperature of 350 degrees. Gently turn the tomato slices over with tongs and fry until the second side is a deep, golden brown, 2 to 2½ minutes longer. Transfer the fried tomatoes to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining slices, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil at a temperature of 350 degrees. Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I live in Atlanta and they regularly sell green tomatoes in the grocery store. I love them with a homemade Come Back Sauce. I can’t wait to try your version.
I make fried green tomatoes at this time every year. Trying to use as many tomatoes from our plants as possible before the frost hits. My recipe is very much the same as yours, but I do add a pinch of garlic and a pinch of onion with the dry ingredients. There is a restaurant in Savannah, GA that substitutes fried green tomatoes for regular tomatoes on their BLTs. Also have had them in a restaurant in Galena, IL that serves them with cheese and marinara sauce, similar to eggplant Parmesan.
I also have never thought about eating green tomatoes. I thought it’s poisonous… Hope I could find some green potatoes to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing!
Being from the south we have these every summer. It’s good to sprinkle them with a little bit of garlic and Parmesan!
These are absolutely fantastic. Tried a month ago and have made them three times since. Thanks!
The Irondale Cafe is still in existence in Irondale, AL. Here is a link to the story: http://www.yearofalabamafood.com/famous-dishes/fried-green-tomatoes
There is another restaurant here in Mentone, AL, famous for the Tomato Pie, and it isn’t supposed to taste like apple pie. I have the recipe, I will look for it. Most people eat fried green tomatoes and the tomatoe pie, with pepper sauce and salt.
Fantastic! I also substituted some panko for corn meal, thank you for the excellent recipe!
Tienen que estar increibles con ese rebozado! Deliciosos!
I think it’s time that I stock up on some green tomatoes!
I’ve always felt like green tomatoes would taste bitter, but yours look so good, I need to try them!
I thought the same thing about the movie until I moved to New Orleans and started seeing them on menus. Sadly, the most fabulous version I ever had was a restaurant in Mississippi I would drive to for dinner – got wiped out in Katrina and transplanted elsewhere, only to turn up on Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. Seems like the chef lost his mojo post-Katrina, because even those precious fried green tomatoes were lousy by then. So sad! That was the same place where I learned about different compound butters, so I was really bummed. Your version looks beautiful!! Nicely done! :) Oh, and it was a really good movie!
I love that movie! You have to see it. Make more fried green tomatoes and get it started!
I swear you read my mind; I’ve been wanting to try fried green tomatoes for ages! Trouble is that I can never seem to find green tomatoes where I live. I watched the film and read the book (both surprised me by how much I enjoyed it, movie in particular is very sweet), and the book actually gives you a recipe for it which I’m dying to try. It looks delicious, I can almost taste it through the screen!
I am not a tomato fan either, no matter how many peopel gasp and shake their head when I tell them. However, I have always been fascinated by fried green tomatoes (the fried aspect got me in). If another non-tomato eater endorses these, I may have to try them.
I love Lightfoot restaurant, and always get the fried green tomatoes when I go there! They are perfection with that dollop of chili cream on top.
By all means, watch the movie! It’s great.
I’ve had fried green tomatoes at a restaurant, but haven’t ever made them myself at home. These look seriously good – I just need to snag a few green tomatoes from a neighbor and it’s happening!
I have only had fried green tomatoes once before two years ago but I loved them. I should totally make these. I also recommend you see the movie – I really enjoyed it and bet you would too.
Rent the movie! It’s a chick flick so watch it when CCC is out with the guys.
Read the book – it was really good, LOL funny in parts, and much better than the movie.
I love that movie…. I also wasn’t sure if it was a real thing , love fried green tomatos
I love fried green tomatoes!
Fried Green Tomatoes is the favourite movie of my father in law. It’s his first movie suggestion anytime he is asked to help choose a film. Total tear jerker!! I only found out last week it was based on book.
I had these for the first time in south Georgia back in May. SO SO SO good!!
You definitely need to watch the movie! It’s a classic. Here in the south we dip fried green tomatoes in ranch! Also, try them in a BLT instead of tomatoes =)
Those look yummy!!! I caught the baking fever a couple of days ago, and have not been doing much else since:
Love from Europa,
Birdy and Bambi
Glad to hear the recommendation on the book–I absolutely loved the movie, so I’m sure the book is even better. You really shouldn’t go another day without seeing the movie. If it didn’t win the oscar for best picture (can’t remember), it certainly was nominated. Wonderful movie with wonderful acting–didn’t want it to end. I’ve made and posted a recipe for fried green tomatoes, but neither my husband nor I liked them (and I did say so in my post). I’m still glad to have tried them and crossed them off my bucket list. I think a cream sauce would definitely enhance them! Cheddar jalapeno sauce? Hmmm…..
If you didn’t know that people ate green tomatoes, you probably don’t know this: there is a green tomato pie recipe out there, and it tastes just like apple pie. I know this because the lady who used to manage the apartment complex where I live used to bake a lot and leave the goodies by the door for tenants to pick up on our way out. On my way to school one morning, I saw what looked like an apple pie and quickly grabbed a piece and inhaled it right there in the lobby. Another lady came by and said, “It’s good, right? You would never know that it was made with green tomatoes.” Well, I turned a little green myself. I took a closer look and could see the seeds! I probably would not have tried it if I had known, but it was good, and I am glad that I did!
Ok!… first off I can’t believe you haven’t seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes…we have it on the old school VHS and on Blueray. You must remedy this and rent it. This is a must!! Great movie!
Secondly, try fried green tomatoes on a sandwich with Pumpernickel, turkey and smoked gouda (stick under the broiler to melt the gouda) or to kick it up a notch add a couple slices of crispy bacon! Cardiac Arrest Sandwich is what we call it!!
These look amazing! Thanks!
I am the same way with trying new foods, if I don’t think I will like it I will not try, but might just have to try these!!
Fan of both the movie and the tasty tart tomatoes! Used them recently on a grilled pimento cheese bacon sandwich! Yum!
Was wondering if I could fry the tomatoes in coconut oil,from what I’ve been told and
Have read on several occasions ,vegetable oil is not that food for you.
Would like some input on this subject….thanks
Hi Audrey, I’ve never done any frying with coconut oil, so unfortunately I’m not really sure how well it would fair or how it impart flavor to what you’re frying.
I disagree that the movie makes no sense without the book. But I definitely would recommend checking out both. Both are fantastic. I’ve seen the movie a million times…one of those that it’s hard to pass up when it’s on TV!
However, I’ve never had and always wanted to try fried green tomatoes. This is a great excuse now that I have a recipe!
Remoulade sauce is great with fried green tomatoes.
We love fried green tomatoes — it’s a great use for those left on the vine at the end of the season which just won’t ripen. Served with cold homemade buttermilk ranch. Yum. And I think you need to try them again with the cornmeal — you get a different texture.
Also try the film — it’s a good one.
Zack Garvin’s in Newton, MS has the best Fried Green Tomatoes on earth. They’re called PawPaw’s Fritter’s and are served smothered in bacon and cheese and served with homemade Peppered Ranch dressing for dipping. Delicious! I may just have to go now.
I tried fried green tomatoes for my first time in May down in Atlanta, GA. I was unsure how it was going to taste, but as soon as I took my first bite I wondered “Where have you been my entire life?” Now I’m a fan! Thanks for this great recipe, with all the tomatoes we’re picking I will be sure to pick a few early and green!
Two of my favorites, Lightfoots and fried green tomatoes!! Lived in Great Falls and worked in Leesburg so Lightfoots was a frequent lunch or dinner location. Introduced a bunch of Brits to fried green tomatoes while living there. Had a summer that there wasn’t enough sun to ripen the tomatoes. They were hesitant at first but loved them!! Keep the tomato recipes coming, the tart from last week was outstanding!!!
Fried green tomatoes are one of my top 5 favorite things to eat in this world! LOVE them!!
what about the jalapeño cheddar and chili cream sauce??? I’m dying for that recipe!! Please!!
Hi Rhonda, Unfortunately, having it almost a year ago, I couldn’t remember it nearly enough to try to recreate it. If I ever have it again, I’ll attempt it soon after!
Classic! These look delicious! Thanks for sharing :)
I was craving fried green tomatoes all last week. I finally went to a local dive and got some a few days ago. DELICIOUS!! I am so happy you tried them and created your own recipe. Can’t wait to try it.
Both the book and the movie are fantastic! Women of all ages seem to find a connection with the themes. (And the food plays a nice supportive role, too.)
I know what you mean about the fried green tomatoes at Lightfoot. Living in the DC area I’ve been able to experience the fried green tomatoes at Lightfoot. Looks like you did them justice.
There’s a restaurant here in Atlanta that serves fried green tomatoes with a generous dollop of homemade pimento cheese right on top. It’s a delicious accompaniment and better than any if the sauces I’ve tried so far.
I’ve never read the book, and still *love* the movie. Give it a shot. :)
I like red fried tomatoes, o will have to try the green ones.
I loved the movie as a little girl but haven’t watched it in years! These really look delicious. I think it’s great that we can turn nothing (unripe fruit) into something (fried fruit) with just a little oil! Yum
Oh man – I have wanted to try these for ages! I might have to cosy up to someone with a garden to get my hands on some green tomatoes, now!
These look awesome!!
don’t bother with the movie unless you read the book first. the film leaves out a MAJOR part of the story. like… not a plot point, but an entire facet of a relationship. the story doesn’t make sense without it.