I have found that folks fall into two basic camps when it comes to fried green tomatoes. There is the “why would anyone want to fry and then eat a green tomato???” camp. The teenager is the president of this camp. Then there is the “fried green tomatoes are one of the reasons life is worth living” camp, and I am the president of this camp. The New Jersey chapter, anyhow.
So, you start with, yes a green tomato. These are pretty widely available at farmer’s markets in August and September as the tomato crop goes nuts and they start picking green ones that haven’t ripened yet. The green ones are firmer and will stand up to the frying you are about to do without falling apart.
You have to use them pretty soon after you buy them, though, because if they are more mature tomatoes, they will keep on ripening, and your fried green tomatoes will be fried orange-ish tomatoes. And we’re looking for authenticity here!
So, if you are looking for your standard fried green tomato, the basic approach is this: slice those green tomatoes into nice thick slices, dunk them in flour, then egg, then cornmeal, fry them in some canola oil until they are a handsome golden brown, drain ‘em on paper towels, sprinkle them with salt, and then dig in.
However. If you want to go to fried green tomato heaven, you can take things a step further. After you have your fried green tomatoes all nice and golden, build a stack of tomato, mozzarella cheese, tomato, cheese, tomato. You can even use a slice of a red one (unfried!) in the center for a little color. Sprinkle with some grated parmesan, skewer them with a long wooden toothpick so they stay together, and then pop them in the oven until the cheese juuuuust starts to melt.
Need I say more? Hurry hurry, before the green tomatoes leave to make room for the pumpkins.