Before I met the Southern husband, I’m not sure I knew what a fried green tomato actually was. It sounded like an unripe tomato that was tossed in a frying pan, and I just didn’t understand the attraction. Then I met him, and I found out that it was a firm, slightly sweet, slightly tart young tomato that was dipped in an egg wash and then in cornmeal and then gently fried until it was golden and then sprinkled with salt, and I’ve been a fried green tomato believer ever since. For the longest time, I didn’t think there was a way to improve on the classic FGT. And then one day I made myself a bacon, lettuce and fried green tomato sandwich.
If you have been reading this blog for a little while, you know there is pretty much nothing that is safe from me BLT-izing it. From pasta to salad to dip, I have taken my favorite sandwich and turned it into all kinds of alternate forms. But until now, I hadn’t messed with the sandwich itself, and I have no earthly idea what took me so long to introduce the BLT to the FGT. It’s a match made in heaven if I ever heard of one, so about 2 minutes after the lightbulb finally went off in my head, I was off to find a green tomato.
And before you decide to skip this step and try to fry up a red one, let me tell you that I have been down that crooked road, and it doesn’t work. Red tomatoes are ripe, and as soon as they hit the frying pan they are going to soften and release their juices like good red tomatoes are supposed to do. Green tomatoes are firm and stubborn and they can stand up to the heat of the frying pan without losing any of their shape. Trust me.
Once you have your green tomato and you’ve fried it up until it is golden, the rest of the process is just the same as your regular BLT. You want some nice soft bread (toasted or not toasted, your choice. I like toasted!). You want some lettuce (I like Bibb lettuce), you want mayo, and you want some nice, perfectly cooked bacon. I cut my bacon slices in half before I cooked them for BLTs, just because they are then sandwich sized when the assembly starts.
And speaking of the assembly, mine goes like this:
2. Mayo, with fresh pepper ground on top
4. Fried Green Tomato!
6. More mayo
Open wide. Take a bite. Understand the sheer wonderfulness of fried green tomatoes and BLTs all at the same time. Repeat.Print
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 pound green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- Kosher salt
- 8 slices bread (toasted…or not!)
- 8 slices bacon, cut in half and cooked to your liking
- Fresh ground pepper
- Place the flour, cornmeal and eggs in separate bowls. Dip the tomatoes first in the flour, then the eggs, then the cornmeal, pressing gently to help the cornmeal adhere.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook the tomatoes until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel lined sheet and season with salt.
- Assemble the sandwiches as follows: Bread, spread with mayo, grind some pepper on the mayo, then lettuce, fried tomato or two, 4 bacon halves, spread the second piece of bread with mayo and place it on top. Enjoy immediately while the tomatoes are warm!