By: Francesca Montillo
Nothing says Italian quite like fried green tomatoes!
Ok, I know, fried green tomatoes aren’t at all an Italian dish. In fact, most Italians might think twice about eating a tomato that isn’t vibrant red, vivid and dripping in its own juices. But it’s late summer and one thing most Italians have a bounty of right now are tomatoes growing in their backyards.
Last summer, I had a friend visit my Boston home from South Carolina. She was impressed with my gardening skills and seeing my tomatoes growing. I admit, she’s easily impressed because my gardening skills leave little to be desired. The tomato plants were neglected from having spent the summer in Italy, but a few sturdy green tomatoes were growing, hanging on to dear life by dehydrated stems. She asked what I was going to do with them and I told her that the squirrels were likely going to be enjoying the last few tomatoes.
Related story: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TOMATO JARRING ITALIAN AMERICAN STYLE
She was shocked and asked for, you guessed it, some fried green tomatoes. And after not even an hour in the kitchen, we were munching on some delicious fried green tomatoes! It never would have occurred to me to make this dish had she not requested it. The squirrels were none too pleased with our kitchen experiment! I’ve made them a number of times since and will definitely be making them in the days to come, as the tomato season winds down.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 lb. green tomatoes
½ cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dry oregano
Black pepper – to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
- Cut tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and place them on several sheets of paper towels. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. In the meantime, prep the rest of the ingredients.
- In a shallow dish, add the flour and set aside.
- In another shallow dish, add the egg and 1 tablespoon of water and gently beat.
- In another shallow dish, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, oregano and black pepper. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
- Dredge the sliced tomatoes in the flour, shaking off excess. Discard leftover flour. Then dip tomato slices in the egg wash, and dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture, coating heavily.
- Pour about a ½ inch of oil in a heavy skillet and heat to 375 degrees. Working in batches, add the tomato slices in the hot oil and cook for several minutes per side. Turning carefully so as not to remove any of the coating. Drain on clean paper towels and sprinkle with added salt, as desired.
Note: Pair with homemade red sauce, for dipping.