One of the reasons I wanted to explore this cookbook was to introduce myself to dishes that I’d heard about, and been intrigued by, but had never made.  Fried green tomatoes was near the top of that list.  My one and only point of reference for this dish was the 1980s novel and movie of the same name about which I recall absolutely nothing, and certainly nothing about the eponymous delicacy. 

In addition, being the tomato fiend that I am, I loved the idea of being able to use some of the ones I was growing before they turned red.  Waiting for my home-grown tomatoes to ripen is an excruciating exercise in deferred gratification, which I’ve never been good at anyway.  So I was very excited about getting at those babies a little early.

(My lovely green tomatoes getting ready for greatness):

I won’t say I was convinced this would work right from the beginning.  How could green tomatoes be good, I kept asking myself.  They seem to be as luscious as fresh tennis balls. 

And yet, turns out there’s a reason this is a popular dish.  It’s fantastic.

I do recommend some amendments to the recipe in this book however.  First, Miss Sara says to “barely cover the bottom” of a skillet with oil to cook the tomato slices and I found that this was ridiculously inadequate.  The flour and cornmeal with which you’ve coated the tomatoes will absorb quite a bit of oil, so in order to have enough to properly cook both sides, you’re going to need probably 1/4 cup. 

Because you can only fit so many slices into your skillet at a time you’re going to need (and want) to make at least two batches.  This will require you to wipe out the skillet after each batch as the cornmeal that falls off during cooking will otherwise begin to burn pretty quickly.  And of course you will need to add another 1/4 cup of oil.

Otherwise, this is absolutely divine.  Not only are the tomatoes delish but pairing them with the Green Goddess dressing, which is buttermilk and mayo and several summer herbs, is inspired.  It’s like summer on a plate and makes a very satisfying light dinner or meatless meal.  Even the leftovers made a very nice lunch the next day.

This is going to go on my calendar so I remember to make it every summer when my tomatoes are big and green.

The recipe is available here, courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, a place where I rarely buy anything.