Serious Eats: Recipes

Seriously Meatless: Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoky Mayo

Note: Serious Eater Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe to expand our vegetarian repertoire.

[Photograph: Michael Natkin]

If you grew tomatoes this year, chances are you've still got a few green ones sulking on the vines. You've been holding out hopes that they are going to ripen. Time to face the truth, and today's recipe will ease the pain.

Southerners long ago figured out that green tomatoes, lightly breaded and pan-fried, have a delicious tang that you will look forward to. You might even find yourself sneaking a few in August next year. Smoky, spicy mayo is my favorite companion for fried green tomatoes.

This version has one surprising ingredient: tomato leaves. I know, I know. You think they are toxic. Harold McGee says think again, which is good enough for me, though you can of course omit them and increase the parsley if you are really concerned. Personally, I find the smell of tomato leaves completely intoxicating, so I love the chance to infuse a bit into my sauce.

Here's a tip about the tomato-breading procedure: Use one hand to transfer the food to the flour and from the flour into the egg. Then use the other hand to pluck it out of the egg, into the breadcrumbs, and then into the pan. This helps you keep the breading on the food and off of your fingers, and makes the whole operation neater.

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