Meatless Monday: Fried Green Tomatoes With Lemon-Dill Dressing

In my sister-in-law’s beautiful garden, there are piles of these gem-like green tomatoes waiting to ripen. I always get excited when I see these, because I hope that my brother-in-law will decide to make his fried green tomatoes. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done them in a few years that I remember.

Sliced and ready to go! The beautiful green tomatoes from my sis in law's garden. © Miyo Wratten

Sliced and ready to go! The beautiful green tomatoes from my sis in law’s garden. © Miyo Wratten

When he made them, he’d always serve them with a fresh salsa on top. Oh my gosh, best thing ever.

When I spotted my sis in law’s plentiful garden, I decided that I would make fried green tomatoes this summer no matter what. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything to make a salsa with, but I easily whipped up a tangy lemon-dill dressing to complement the rich crunch of the tomatoes’ breadding.

For the carnivores in my house, I also marinated a London broil and grilled it for them, but for myself, I was happy with just the fried green tomatoes, dressing and sweet corn. I just love summer for all the fabulous fresh produce that we can get around here. And when I say fresh, I mean fresh. Corn that was picked the day before, or even picked in the morning and served in the evening, is considered ‘old.’ Love it. It’s vegetarian heaven, really.

In any event, I hope you like this fried green tomato recipe I put together. If you’d rather avoid sour cream, you can easily pair this with a fresh salsa, or whatever else you think will add a tangy, fresh taste to contrast against the richness of the fried tomatoes. I’ll admit here that I went and used eggs for the wet part of the batter, which I know works into some vegetarians’ diets. If you prefer not to use eggs, you can replace with the “flax eggs” concoction that I’ve tried in other recipes and have found works well.

Here is a great link to how “flax eggs” work, and how to make some successfully: Link here.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Lemon-Dill Dressing
Serves 8 adults. Cooking time, including preparation time, is around 45 minutes.

Battered and frying! © Miyo Wratten

Battered and frying! © Miyo Wratten

For the fried tomatoes:
5 medium green tomatoes sliced 1/2-inch thick
3 eggs (use flax eggs if prefered)
3 Tbsp water (omit if using flax eggs)
3 cups flour
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

For the lemon-dill dressing:
8 oz. sour cream of your choice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of pepper

1) Combine the ingredients of the lemon-dill dressing in a small bowl. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

2) Wash, remove stems of green tomatoes and slice 1/2-inch thick. I found that cutting them much thinner than this causes the flavor of the tomato to get ‘lost’ in the taste of the fried breading.

3) Prepare three shallow-edged dishes for dipping tomato slices for breading. Pie plates would work great. In one, combine eggs and water, in the second, combine flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper. Stir with a fork to combine. In the third, combine corn meal with bread crumbs. Stir with a fork to combine.

4) One at a time, dip the tomatoes into each dish in this order: flour, eggs, breadcrumbs. Place prepared tomato onto plate. Repeat until all sliced tomatoes have been prepared. Get some family members or friends to help!

Delicious, crunchy, rich meal. Gotta love summer. © Miyo Wratten

Delicious, crunchy, rich meal. Gotta love summer. © Miyo Wratten

5) Over medium heat, pour enough oil into a deep-sided pan so it comes to be around 1-inch deep.  The oil is ready when a small amount of breading dropped into the pan sizzles and turns golden in about 1 minute. Place breaded green tomatoes into the hot oil in one single layer in the pan. Leave about 1/2-inch space between tomatoes. Fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn, and cook again for 2-3 minutes. Place cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain, and continue cooking until all the tomatoes are done.

Serve warm with a dollop of the lemon-dill dressing. Yummmm!

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