In the world of food, few things make me happier than the start of tomato season! Thanks to a greenhouse grower here in North Carolina, we’re lucky enough to start seeing locally grown tomatoes at our farmers’ market as early as April and sometimes even March (depending on the season). Granted, you have to set your alarm to get in line early, but it’s oh. so. worth. it! Last weekend at the market my daughters and I were picking through the lovely stock of red tomatoes when my 9-year-old saw the green ones and begged me to make fried green tomatoes. Okay, twist my arm. :)
Many Fried Green Tomato recipes involve lots of steps, including a milk bath and adding seasonings and regular flour to your corn meal. I’m sure they all taste fabulous, but my goal in the kitchen is almost always quick and easy (and tasting great, of course!). So I literally just coat my sliced green tomatoes in corn meal and fry them up in a cast iron skillet for the quickest and easiest of all Fried Green Tomato recipes. Then I whip together a 3-ingredient sauce, and let me tell you what – they are gone in no time. If you’ve never tried this southern delicacy, you are definitely missing out! Better late than never, though. So get cooking. :)
Shortcut Fried Green Tomatoes
For the Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Tomatoes
- 2 green tomatoes weighing 12-14 ounces total
- 2/3 cup whole-grain cornmeal finely ground
- ghee (aka clarified butter) or other high-temperature cooking oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
Thinly slice the green tomatoes (about 1/4-inch thick) and dredge both sides in the cornmeal.
Heat a thin layer of clarified butter (ghee) in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook in batches until tender when pierced with a fork and both sides are golden brown, a couple minutes per side. To prevent the skillet from getting dry, add more ghee when necessary. Wipe out the skillet in-between batches (otherwise the crumbs will burn).
Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, season with salt and pepper, and serve warm with dipping sauce.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.