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This post is sponsored by Filippo Berio. As always, I only work with brands I love and use in my own kitchen, and all opinions are my own.
In my never-ending quest to update my favorite southern recipes into new modern classics, today we're tackling Southern Fried Green Tomatoes, and freshening them up with some lemony crab and a balsamic glaze from Filippo Berio.
But first things first:
What are green tomatoes?
Well, uh, they are tomatoes... that are green. Okay, it's actually not that simple! There are several varieties of tomatoes that have a green color that maintain that color once they are perfectly ripe. We do NOT want those green tomatoes for fried green tomatoes.
So what kind of green tomatoes should I use for fried green tomatoes?
We want unripened green tomatoes, which are very firm, almost like an apple.
Where can I buy green tomatoes?
I can almost always find them at my local farmers market or even the local grocery store. However, you can also grow them. Tomatoes are finicky and pretty much refuse to ripen unless it's between 50 and 85 degrees F. If you plant tomatoes late in the summer and get fruit, that means you might have green tomatoes waiting for you already!
What to do with green tomatoes?
My first answer is ALWAYS to make this fried green tomato recipe. Let's say you've already done that, though! You can actually ripen a green tomato to be a good ol' red tomato at home by either leaving it on the counter top, or tossing it in a bag with a banana to expedite the process. Then you can make a delicious caprese salad with mozzarella and basil and use up any leftover Filippo Berio Balsamic Glaze on top!
Speaking of ...
What sauce goes with fried green tomatoes?
When I see fried green tomatoes with sauce, it's usually something like a remoulade. I find that to be too heavy, though! I much prefer something a little lighter. Something unexpected. A balsamic reduction!
The bite of balsamic is the perfect thing to lighten up fried green tomatoes. A layer of nearly unaltered crab makes this into a meal that elevates the humble green tomato into something fresh and magical.
Southern Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
- 2 medium to large green tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs plain are preferred
- approximately 2 cups of Filippo Berio Olive Oil depending on pan size
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise optional
- 8 ounces fresh crab meat
- 1/3 cup Filippo Berio Balsamic Glaze
- 1 1/4 cups spring mix or your favorite mix of crisp lettuces torn into bite-sized pieces
- Fresh lemon slices optional ( for garnish )
- In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the crab; cover and refrigerate while preparing everything else. You may leave out the mayonnaise if you wish, but it serves as a binding agent for the crab and adds just a BIT more flavor and texture that I really enjoy.
- Slice tomatoes 1/4" inch thick, and set aside.
- Place the flour in a small bowl or on a plate next to the sliced green tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and hot sauce together until thoroughly combined. Set aside next to the tomatoes.
- Combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, and the rest of the pepper ( 1/2 teaspoon ). Set next to the eggs/ milk/ hot sauce combo.
- You should now have an assembly line set up in the following order: tomatoes, flour, milk/eggs/hot sauce, breadcrumbs/cornmeal/seasoning.
- Repeat the following process for each tomato: Dip a tomato slice in flour and gently shake off any excess flour. Dip tomato in the egg mixture and thoroughly coat so that all parts of the tomato are covered in egg. Press the flour and egg coated tomato into the breadcrumb/cornmeal, covering all parts of the tomato.
- Pour Filippo Berio Olive Oil into a heavy-bottomed pan with high sides ( a cast iron skillet is perfect for this ) until about 1/2" of oil is in the pan. Turn the heat onto medium. The oil is ready for frying when a pinch of the leftover breadcrumb mixture sizzles when dropped into the pan. You can also put the handle of a wooden ( MUST BE WOODEN ) spoon into the pan and look for bubbling around it, but I don't like getting my spoons oily so I stick with breadcrumbs.
- Using a spatula, gently slide the prepared green tomato slices into the pan, about four at a time. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, then flip each tomato and cook for 2 minutes more or until golden brown.
- Carefully remove each tomato from from the oil and set on a cooling rack, flattened brown paper bag, or paper towels to drain.
- Sprinkle the cooked fried green tomatoes with the rest of the salt ( 1/2 teaspoon ).
- For each stack, put a fried green tomato on a plate, gently spread 1/5th of the crab mixture on top in order to not break up any chunks of crab meat. Top with another fried green tomato, and about a quarter cup of spring mix. Drizzle each stack with 1 tablespoon of Filippo Berio Balsamic Glaze. Feel free to add more! Serve with fresh lemon slices.