Fried Green Tomatoes used to be a traditional fall dish. We made them just before the first frost with tomatoes we knew would never have a chance to ripen. They are such a treat, though, that now I make them in early summer before the first tomato ever gets ripe—and after that anytime I want to. Good quality, coarse cornmeal is a must, as is lots of freshly ground pepper. Make sure the oil is hazy hot—otherwise the tomatoes will be soggy. You may have to practice a couple of times, but, hey, who’s complaining? Practice means even more Fried Green Tomatoes. SAM.
1/4 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium green tomatoes, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
In a shallow plate, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper. Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices and dredge them on both sides in the cornmeal mixture. In a heavy iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hazy. When a pinch of cornmeal bubbles fiercely in the oil, place the tomatoes in the skillet. Fry on one side until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn with a spatula and fry on the other side until browned and crisp and the tomatoes are soft inside, about 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve immediately with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and bread-and-butter pickles on the side.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.