“Fried” Green Tomatoes

  • Yield 9 to 12 pieces

Green tomatoes may be unripe, but they are not lacking in flavor. If you can find green heirloom tomatoes, even better!

This dish is a Southern delicacy usually served with a spicy remoulade sauce. If you need a quick recipe to put one together—get a little of your favorite vegan mayo, some sweet pickle relish and a dash of hot sauce, stir and you’re done! Don’t even try this with ripe tomatoes, because they will become squishy, and the beauty of this dish is in the firmness of the tomatoes.

Ingredients

4 large green tomatoes, or green heirloom tomatoes
1 dash sea salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 dash black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus teaspoon
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup neutral tasting high-heat oil
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soymilk, curdle with 1 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Slice tomatoes into 1⁄2-inch-thick pieces, cutting off ends so rounds are flat. Season with dash of sea salt and black pepper; let rest about 5 minutes.
  2. Place flour in a medium bowl and season with 1⁄4 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Set aside.
  3. Add cornmeal to a second medium bowl and add remaining sea salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Whisk to incorporate, and set aside.
  4. Preheat a large, stainless steel sauté pan (not aluminum or cast iron), and add oil.
  5. Place curdled almond or soymilk in a bowl.  Coat each tomato slice first in flour mixture, then dip tomato into curdled almond or soymilk mixture. Finally, coat tomato in cornmeal mixture until well covered. Repeat for all, then place in sauté pan.
  6. Cook in batches of 4 or 5, without overcrowding pan. Cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat or until golden; flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Place cooked tomatoes on paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm.

Note: Always store tomatoes at room temp, because putting them in the fridge changes the flavor and texture, making them bitter and mealy.

Recipe used with permission from Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, authors of Spork Fed (c) 2011. Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live cooking classes at Spork Foods in West Hollywood, online vegan cooking classes at www.sporkonline.com, one-on-one in-home healthy pantry makeovers, and recipe development/trainings for chefs, food companies and colleges. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently on the shelves, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

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