Fried Green Tomatoes

This is a lighter version of a favorite Southern classic. This recipe will work with firm red or yellow tomatoes, as well. Tomatoes are the third most popular vegetable eaten by Americans, behind potatoes and processed tomato foods like juice, puree, and?you guessed it?ketchup.

2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 plus 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil

Season the tomato slices with the salt. Combine the 1/4 cup flour, cornmeal, and salt and pepper. Set up a breading station: In three separate bowls, place the remaining 1/2 cup flour, buttermilk, and cornmeal mixture. Coat each tomato slice in the flour, tap off the excess, submerge in the buttermilk, and then coat well in the cornmeal.

Bread all of the tomato slices; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You may prepare the tomatoes several hours ahead of cooking.) When the tomatoes are ready, heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, until a single drop of water makes the oil sizzle. Cook the tomato slices until they are golden brown on each side, turning them once.

Remove the tomatoes to a plate lined with paper towels for a few moments. Serve them immediately.


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