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Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies of all time, plus I’m obsessed with themed food – so it’s pretty surprising that I’d never made its namesake food and tied it into this 90s classic. There’s a lot of food in this movie, but, well, let’s just say it’s not all veggie-friendly.

Look, this is a vegetarian blog. I can’t give you a recipe for barbecued cop.

I’m a total sucker for this movie, and for the book it was based upon. Maybe it’s the feminist themes – women looking out for each other and rescuing each other from abusive relationships, getting each other through thick and thin, developing aggressive alter egos borne out of utter repression – I mean, seriously, who hasn’t lived Kathy Bates’s “TOWAAAANDAAAA!” moment at some point?

Although to be honest, most of my Towanda moments happen because the Whole Foods garage is too crowded and not because someone’s repressing me.

On top of the whole thematic connection with the movie, I’m technically a good Southern girl. Honestly, if you could see me right now, you’d be laughing right along with me, because I’m not at all – but Virginia (even the northern part) is below the Mason-Dixon. So I take that as license to say things like “reckon” (which I do, with abandon, albeit without an accent) and to make things like fried green tomatoes without seeming like a total Yankee rube.

I did cheat on the recipe in one major way. One really, major, fundamental way.

I didn’t fry my fried green tomatoes.

Sue me, okay? I don’t have a garbage disposal, or even a fan or window near the stove. Frying is an endeavor that makes every single one of my 450 square feet smell like grease. As such, I don’t take it lightly. Above and beyond that, I do try to be healthy-ish for the most part, so it seemed to make the most sense, even on a hot day, to use the oven rather than the frying pot. It worked incredibly well here – the high-heat roast crisped the breading, while softening the hard, underripe green tomato into a flavorful, juicy treat.

There’s a vendor at my farmer’s market that sells green tomatoes every week, and after a weekend full of these, I think that Towanda and I will be her best customers. You know, as long as nobody steals my parking space.

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes
 
Category: Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 4-6 green medium green tomatoes
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs*
  • ¼ cup milk*
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and place a wire rack on the sheet. Spray the wire rack lightly with cooking spray and set aside (if you don’t have a wire rack, bake on parchment or lightly sprayed foil, just turn halfway through)
  2. Slice tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices.
  3. Place the flour into a small bowl.
  4. Combine the eggs/milk* in another bowl.
  5. In another small bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
  6. Coat each tomato slice in the flour, then soak completely in the egg/egg replacement mixture. Coat thoroughly with the panko mixture and place on the wire rack.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and the tomatoes are tender. Serve with dipping sauce – remoulade or ranch are great with this.
Notes
*To veganize – instead of the eggs, puree 6 oz silken tofu with 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk, OR for a more flavor-packed option, stir together 2 Tbsp dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp Vegenaise.

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