Rye And Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Tomatoes are fairly easy for even an amateur gardener to grow, so much so that the vines often produce an abundance of vegetables. That being said, thrifty cooks don't want to waste even the green ones that fall from the vine or fail to ripen in time for the first frost. That's why, once upon a time, someone invented fried green tomatoes in order to prevent such waste.

"Unripened tomatoes," recipe developer Julie Kinnaird opines, "have a wonderful tangy flavor and firm texture that holds up during frying." Here, she's replacing the all-purpose flour used in more standard recipes with rye flour, something that she feels gives the tomatoes a nutty flavor. The rye, together with the caraway seed she uses to season the cornmeal coating, gives this dish what she calls "a bit of a Scandinavian flair." 

When paired with a dill-favored buttermilk dip (a bonus recipe for this is also included below), these fried green tomatoes make an excellent appetizer. You could also skip the dip and use them as a side dish if you prefer.

Collect the ingredients for rye and cornmeal fried green tomatoes

Apart from the green tomatoes themselves, you'll need eggs, rye flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cornmeal, and caraway seeds to dip them in, plus some vegetable oil in which to fry them. The dip that accompanies the fried tomatoes is made with sour cream, buttermilk, dill, chives, and lemon juice. If you like a little heat, be sure to have some hot sauce on hand for serving as well.

Bread the tomatoes

Combine the flour and paprika with a teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix the caraway and the rest of the salt and pepper into the cornmeal, then beat the eggs. Take each slice of tomato and dip it first into the flour, then into the eggs, and finally into the cornmeal. Kinnaird advises, "Make sure each step of the coating completely covers the entire surface of the slices to help seal the juices in."

Fry the tomatoes

Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with oil (for Kinnaird, this takes about half a cup). Heat the oil over medium-high, then fry the tomatoes in batches once it gets hot. (To avoid crowding the pan, keep the slices in a single layer.) The tomatoes need to cook for about 2 or 3 minutes on each side to ensure a golden-brown crust. Here, Kinnaird warns, "It is important to use caution when frying the tomatoes, especially when flipping them over, as the juices have a tendency to splash in the hot oil."

As the tomatoes finish cooking, drain them on a paper-lined pan or plate. If you want to keep them warm, you can put them in a 300 F oven.

Make the dipping sauce

Mix all of the dip ingredients until you have a nice smooth sauce. Taste it and add more salt, pepper, or hot sauce if you wish. You may now commence dunking and devouring the fried green tomatoes.

If you don't eat all of the fried tomatoes, Kinnaird suggests refrigerating them in a sealed container, but advises keeping them in a single layer. This, she says, will keep them from sticking together. The sauce, too, should be refrigerated. The tomatoes can be reheated in an oven or an air fryer at 375 F, but the dip is okay to eat cold.

Rye And Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
4.9 from 38 ratings
When paired with our dill-favored buttermilk dip, these rye and cornmeal fried green tomatoes make an excellent appetizer.
Prep Time
Cook Time
broken-open fried green tomato
Total time: 35 minutes
  • For the tomatoes
  • ¾ cup 100% rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pounds firm, unripe green tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • For the buttermilk dill dipping sauce
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Optional Ingredients
  • Hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper, for serving
  1. Mix the flour with the paprika, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Mix the cornmeal with the caraway and remaining salt and pepper.
  3. Beat the eggs until well-blended.
  4. Dredge each slice of tomato in the flour mixture, then dip it in the egg and dredge it in the cornmeal mixture.
  5. Repeat the process until all of the tomato slices have been breaded.
  6. Heat about ½ cup of oil (or enough to cover the bottom of a large, heavy pan) over medium-high heat.
  7. Working in batches, fry the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are crusty and appear golden brown.
  8. Repeat the process until all of the tomatoes are cooked, draining the fried ones on a paper-lined pan or plate.
  9. Cooked tomatoes can be kept warm in an oven set at 300 F.
  10. Combine all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce and stir until smooth.
  11. Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to the sauce if desired.
  12. Dunk the tomatoes in the dip and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 620
Total Fat 37.9 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 110.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.1 g
Total Sugars 12.3 g
Sodium 916.7 mg
Protein 12.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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