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Fried Green Tomato Parmesan

Red and green tomatoes ripening in my window - The Messy Baker

The deed is done. I have picked all the tomatoes, uprooted the plants and put the garden to bed. Green tomatoes outnumber the red, but who’s counting.

I’d like to think the tomatoes didn’t want to go any more than I wanted to remove them. I had ambitious plans to deal with the garden on Sunday. But it was unseasonably hot and muggy. After picking just one fist-sized bright red beefsteak I decided to give the green tomatoes another day to ripen. But Monday blustered in with a thunder storm and wind. Every time I went to complete the unpleasant task, the skies opened just as I reached the tomato patch. Was this a sign?

Cold, grumpy and sad to see my perpetual tomato supply gone, I finished the job Monday evening as the sky turned dark as my mood.

But things are looking up. In the light of day I now see I have lots of tomatoes to play with — 10-feet of window sills worth, all in various stages of ripeness. Some are ready to eat now, or will be in a few days. Others are green and hard as an apple.

There are green, red and yellow…

Red and green tomatoes, plus a lone yellow one - The Messy Baker

Big as an orange. Small as a grape.

Tiny oblong, green tomatoes from my garden - The Messy Baker

Knowing many of the green tomatoes won’t ripen, I decided to try a classic Southern recipe. One I’d only heard of but never tried — Fried Green Tomatoes.

So, I made a classic, pan-fried version. Dip. Bread. Fry.

The results were tart and tangy, but to my mind needed something. All that dipping and frying reminded me of the Eggplant and Chicken Puttanesca Stacks I made for the Almost Meatless potluck. So, I decided to wing things and make a Fried Green Tomato Parmesan.

The resulting Parmesan was tangier than the eggplant version and had a firmer texture. Unlike eggplant or ripe tomatoes, green tomatoes don’t break down very much during cooking, so they are a bit more like meat. Andrew, who is no friend of eggplant, preferred this variation. “It was more in keeping with what I like,” said my non-taster, veggie-phobic husband. In his world, that’s a compliment.

Got a bunch of green tomatoes on hand? Fry ‘em up. If you like them as is, eat them as a side dish. If they don’t appeal, make them into Parmesan. Either way, they use up those extra tomatoes no one seems to know what to do with north of the border.

How do you use your green tomatoes? Are they compost or do you turn them into a seasonal treat?

Fried Green Tomato Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Kitchen Garden
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Got lots of green tomatoes and no ideas? Fried Green Tomato Parmesan is a great way to use up those unripened tomatoes. Tangier than its eggplant counterpart, this main has a a firmer, meatier texture that will appeal to carnivores and vegetarians alike.
Ingredients
  • 4 medium green tomatoes, cored
  • salt
  • fresh black ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)
  • olive or canola oil for frying
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or good quality store brand)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • pasta of your choice (spaghetti or fettuccine are good)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch glass pan.
  2. Slice tomatoes ½-inch thick. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Bread the green tomato slices by dipping them in the coating ingredients in the following order: milk, flour, egg, bread crumbs.
  5. Fry each slice for 4 to 5 minutes per side, then place in a single layer to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Cover the tomato slices evenly with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the tomatoes are done to your liking.
  6. Serve hot on freshly cooked pasta.

 

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0 Responses to Fried Green Tomato Parmesan

  1. Cheryl Arkison September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    My dad actually buys green tomatoes, sticks them in a box covered with newspaper in the basement, and pulls them out to pop in the freezer as they ripen. when he has enough he makes a batch of salsa or sauce.

  2. Cheryl Arkison September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    My dad actually buys green tomatoes, sticks them in a box covered with newspaper in the basement, and pulls them out to pop in the freezer as they ripen. when he has enough he makes a batch of salsa or sauce.

  3. Sophie September 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    What a delicious looking meal this is!!

    Just perfect!! I so love green tomatoes!!

  4. The Diva on a Diet September 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    What an inventive idea, Charmian. I'll bet it was delicious, it certainly looks to be. Yum!

    Personally, I've never done anything with a green tomato. Er, that sounds funny. LOL

  5. The Diva on a Diet September 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    What an inventive idea, Charmian. I'll bet it was delicious, it certainly looks to be. Yum!

    Personally, I've never done anything with a green tomato. Er, that sounds funny. LOL

  6. Christie's Corner September 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Cheryl, you can do that?! I'm learning soooo much from the comments people post. Thanks for the heads up. This is brilliant.

    Sophie, I had never tried green tomatoes before and liked them. Thanks for the kind words.

    Diva, darling. Lovely to hear from you. I'm dead jealous that you're away at the BlogHer food conference. Thanks for dropping by! And truth be told, I was very pleased with myself over this idea. I'd doubly pleased that Andrew gave it a thumbs up and not just a shoulder shrug.

  7. Cheryl Sternman Rule September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    I think I've only eaten fried green tomatoes once, and they were tasty, but I've never had the opportunity to play with them myself. Your parmesan version is a beauty.

    Slurp.

  8. The Diva on a Diet September 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    You should be pleased with yourself … in fact, I wonder if you've invented it? I think you deserve a sparkly tiara. Bill would flip for this dish … remind me of it next year. LOL

    I wish you could have joined us for BHF, it was a blast. I doubt I'll be able to recap it adequately … I was too busy having fun to take many pictures!

  9. The Diva on a Diet September 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    You should be pleased with yourself … in fact, I wonder if you've invented it? I think you deserve a sparkly tiara. Bill would flip for this dish … remind me of it next year. LOL

    I wish you could have joined us for BHF, it was a blast. I doubt I'll be able to recap it adequately … I was too busy having fun to take many pictures!

  10. Christie's Corner September 29, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    Diva, I will go out and get a sparkly tiara this weekend.

    If you lived closer I'd have you and Bill in for a big dish of this.

    Maybe next year I'll make the BlogHer Food conference. If so, you'd better go too!!

  11. danamccauley September 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    OMG – I think I'm gaining weight thinking about eating those little yummies!

  12. Marti September 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    I love eggplant and I love fried green tomatos so this is definitely something I will get after next time I have the surplus.

    Meantime, CHRISTIE (who seems very fun) here's something to try if you have any more green tomatos.

    Slice up a pan of green tomatos and yellow crookneck squash. Do NOT slice them evenly. Sort of half a slice, angled seems to do best. And throw in half an onion, diced. Saute with a little oil or, dare I say it, BUTTER. The tangy tomatos enliven the squash. It's an easy old Southern sidedish, usually tried early in the season when people get tired of waiting for those green tomatos to ripen.

    I hope you enjoy it.

  13. Karen September 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    I still need to pull all my tomatoes and bring them in the house. Hopefully tomorrow before we get another cold front… I'm going to let them ripen indoors and then dice them up and freeze them.

  14. hiro September 30, 2009 at 1:19 am #

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  15. Christie's Corner September 30, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    Cheryl, thanks, but it wasn't very slurpy. I'm surprised how green tomatoes hold together during cooking.

    Diva, isn't it ironic that during the best times of our lives we're too busy to snap pictures? Glad you had a too-fun-for-photos time!

    Dana, it's not that fattening. Honest. Just cut back a bit on the cheese.

    Marti, your recipe sounds so good I will forgive you for calling me Christie. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    Karen, freezing seems to be the popular preservation choice. Good luck with your harvest.

    Hiro, glad you like my blog. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment!

  16. Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I've had good luck lifting the entire tomato plants, roots and all, taking them into the greenhouse or garage and hanging them upside-down. They ripen on the vine. Way less fuss than having to wrap individual fruits in newspapers, putting in boxes, then sorting through to find the ripe ones.

  17. Puglette September 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    i loved the green tomatoes at the end of the season! i just sliced them up and added them to any saute dish i made. they are yummy with chicken and marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms over a nice pasta.
    yum!
    :o)
    puglette

  18. sandi @ the whistlestop cafe October 5, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Compost the green tomatoes??? Oh mercy~ you give me heart failure.
    This looks perfectly yummylicious. Try a good BLT with fried green tomatoes, or grill those green tomatoes… I have lots of ideas.

    • Charmian Christie October 5, 2009 at 10:20 am #

      It’s okay, Sandi. My readers saved me from this idiotic idea. I ended up making fried green tomato parmesan and green tomato marmalade.

      The BLT sounds like a really good idea, as does the grilling. My repertoire is expanding almost daily. And to think I used to consider green tomatoes inedible. (Hanging my head in shame!)

  19. Kevin October 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    What a great way to use green tomatoes!

    • Charmian Christie October 7, 2009 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks, Kevin. I was actually rather pleased with myself coming up with this on the spur of the moment.

  20. Anissa Harris October 9, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Brilliant idea! This meal is on the menu for this weekend. I make a red tomato marmalade. I will have to give the green a try and add some spice.

    • Charmian Christie October 9, 2009 at 9:20 am #

      Anissa, I hope you like the results. And to think, I used to balk at green tomatoes. Now? I can’t wait for next year’s crop. Red or green, I now have recipes!!

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