Fried Green Tomatoes

These 2-4 ounce Matina tomatoes start producing before the big beefsteak tomatoes and keep on fruiting until frost. No need to pick them green.

Too Many Tomatoes?

This tomato vine broke under the weight of so many tomatoes. The solution for that is fried green tomatoes.

You know I never get tired of talking about America’s favorite homegrown vegetable. I always thought fried green tomatoes were the finale to a tomato growing season. Not so, I learned when I started growing the big heirlooms.

Fried green tomatoes are what you do with tomatoes that haven’t ripened by the first killer frost of the season. They are a fall food. Or so I thought until I ended up with a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. To keep the tomato laden branches of the plant from snapping under the weight of its bounty, remove several tomatoes that are green. So as not to waste food, make fried green tomatoes using the basic recipe.

This year, I “oven fried” them, which I liked even better. Spray a cookie sheet with oil, place the egg and flour dredged tomatoes on the cooking sheet, not touching. Lightly spray the tomatoes, then broil or bake. Turn the tomatoes over and brown the other side. Watch closely. They will burn fast once they start to brown.

Prepare fried green tomatoes like you do pan fried squash or okra. Slice, dip in an egg and milk wash. Roll in a cornmeal and flour mixture with salt and pepper. Double dip and dredge, repeating the process for crunchier fried tomatoes. Fry in a light oil (canola).

There are a million variations, but this basic recipe will get you started on a seasonal treasure from your garden. Aunt Betty uses Japanese Panko bread crumbs and buttermilk, uncle Jim adds a pinch of cayenne. Brother Mark insists of a side of Ranch Dip. My secret ingredient is a smidgen of garlic salt. So, add a secret ingredient and make this recipe your own.

These are Carbon tomatoes. The flesh is solid and very complex. I think it is one of the best black tomatoes.

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