Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern dish that has gained popularity across the United States. Crispy, tangy, and full of flavor, these fried delights are often served as an appetizer or side. But what do they taste best with? Keep reading to discover what goes with fried green tomatoes.
What Are Fried Green Tomatoes?
Fried green tomatoes are a popular Southern dish made from unripe green tomatoes. They are known for their tangy flavor and slightly firm texture. The tomatoes are typically sliced, coated in a batter made from cornmeal and flour, and then fried until golden brown.
This appetizer has origins in the United States, particularly in the Southern states. It is enjoyed by many during the summer months when green tomatoes are abundant. It is often served with dipping sauces or as a topping for sandwiches and salads.
Popular Dishes to Pair with Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are a versatile side dish that can complement many main courses. One popular option is to serve them alongside fried or oven-fried chicken. The crispy coating on both the tomatoes and the chicken creates a delightful texture combination.
Seafood also pairs well with fried green tomatoes, offering lighter options such as shrimp or more decadent choices like crab cakes. The acidity of the tomatoes can cut through the richness of the seafood while enhancing its flavors.
Country fried steak, another Southern classic, is a delicious match for fried green tomatoes. Additionally, pork chops can benefit from the tangy sweetness of the tomatoes, as the flavors work well together without overpowering one another.
For a more robust meal, consider serving fried green tomatoes with jambalaya, a flavorful Louisiana dish known for its mix of rice, meat, and vegetables. The tomatoes add brightness and contrast to the hearty ingredients found in jambalaya.
Toppings and Sauces
Fried green tomatoes pair nicely with a variety of toppings and sauces. A classic option is a remoulade, which adds a zesty and tangy flavor. Made from a base of mayonnaise, mustard, and spices, remoulade provides a creamy contrast to the crispy texture of the dish.
Another great sauce for fried green tomatoes is tartar sauce. This delicious condiment, commonly used with seafood, has a similar consistency to remoulade but with distinct flavors from pickles, capers, and lemon juice.
A simple garlic-pepper aioli is great to pair with fried green tomatoes due to its rich, garlicky undertones and a hint of heat from the pepper.
For those who prefer their toppings a bit heartier, try adding bacon and cheese as a delicious twist. Crumble crispy bacon and sprinkle it over the fried green tomatoes, followed by the melted cheese of your choice. Mozzarella works well, as does a pepper jack for a spicier kick. The combination of flavors and textures creates an unforgettable experience.
Sandwiches and Salads
Fried green tomatoes make a delightful addition to sandwiches, adding both flavor and texture. One popular option is the BLT, which combines the classic ingredients of bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomatoes. For a vegetarian option, consider pairing it with avocado, creating a satisfying sandwich full of contrasting flavors and textures.
Adding fried green tomatoes to a Caprese salad featuring fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic reduction, creates a unique twist.
Grains and Starches
Fried green tomatoes pair well with various grains and starches, offering delightful combinations. Rice, for instance, can be an excellent side dish; you may opt for brown rice, white rice, or even a pilaf. Jazz it up with fresh herbs and citrus for a bright complement to the crunchy, tangy tomatoes.
Pasta is another versatile option. Try a simple lemon pasta or opt for more substantial fare such as alfredo or marinara. For a Southern twist, serve the tomatoes over a bed of creamy grits or with a side of mac and cheese.
Potatoes offer countless ways to create the perfect side dish. Mashed or baked potatoes work wonderfully but perhaps go for the popular Southern favorite, potato salad. Also, a side of oven-baked or grilled potato wedges with a dipping sauce could result in a delicious, memorable meal.
Fried green tomatoes are a classic dish known for their crunchy and golden brown texture. To achieve this, begin by slicing the green tomatoes into half-inch thick rounds. Before frying, dredge them in a coating mixture to ensure a crispy crust.
A common coating method includes dipping the tomato slices in a mixture of beaten egg and milk and then into a combination of dry ingredients like flour, cornmeal, and seasonings. Another popular choice is the double-dredge technique, where you first coat the tomatoes in flour, then in beaten egg, and finally in breadcrumbs, such as panko, for extra crispiness.
Remember to heat your frying oil to the optimal temperature for deep-frying, around 350-375°F. This will ensure the tomatoes get that golden brown color without absorbing too much oil. You may use a deep-fryer or a heavy skillet to shallow-fry the tomatoes, turning them once until both sides are golden.
Once fried, place the tomato slices on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Serve while they’re hot and crunchy.