Everyone’s eaten an underripe tomato out of sheer temptation. There it is on the vine, big and green and shiny. It’s the same size as a ripe tomato, but you know it’s hard as a rock and so sour it’d make your teeth cry. But you’re a Southerner, dang it, so you’re going to do what you do to every food with potential taste value: deep-fry the thing. Works for chitlins (maybe that’s a stretch). Fried green tomatoes are what you eat before they ripen and become entirely unsuitable for frying.
Now, about those tomatoes. When squeezed or sliced into, they should remind you of an apple. What makes them great for frying is that they’re not juicy yet, and if you’ve ever tried to fry something with even a little juiciness to it…well your arm hair will grow back eventually. Best of all, they’re so easy to make. Egg, cornmeal, hot oil. Here’s what to do with them once they’re out of the fryer.
- As both the crunchy element to and vegetable in your sandwich
- …especially if it’s grilled cheese.
- In case you can’t wait for a real caprese
- Instead of a burger patty
- On a salad with bacon and a poached egg
- Covered with marinara and mozzarella, Parmesan-style
Patience, folks. Tomatoes are ripening on the vine as we speak. When they descend upon the farmers market, expect gridlocked stroller traffic and claims from grizzled trust fund hippies that tomatoes only used to cost 50 cents a pound. It’s going to be awesome.
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