I have been waiting for a whole year to make and share this recipe with you.
Last summer, James and I went down to North Carolina to visit my cousin, Ashley, and her fiance (now husband), Evan. We planned on jetskiing and picnicking and walking downtown, but we didn’t get to experience much beautiful Carolinian weather since we oh so perfectly timed our trip for the only week full of rain in the entire year (what luck)! But you know what we did experience? Quality Southern food.
And if you know anything about me, you know that this was going to be my favorite part of the trip anyway. Well, second favorite. Obviously seeing my cousin and her fiance was my favorite part.
And I’m not just saying that because I know you’re reading, Ashley.
So we went to this place called The Pit and we gorged ourselves on Southern food. Gorged. We had cornbread, hush puppies, brisket, ribs, okra, collard greens, baked beans, mac n’ cheese, fried chicken, pulled pork, and a lot of local beer, and it was all amazing. But our favorite thing of all was an order of Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette. Oh man, did we love those Fried Green Tomatoes.
Yes, there were only four of us. Yes, we really did eat all of that food. Every single bite. I’m not ashamed.
Anyway, the Fried Green Tomatoes were perfectly crisp and had the crunch of a pepper- they didn’t get mushy at all when fried, which was a relief. The goat cheese added a bit of tang and a great creamy texture to balance out the fried coating, and the Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette was the perfect balance of sweet and acidic. Sprinkled with a little basil, they felt like an Italian-Southern-hybrid, which I’ve decided might be one of the best ideas in food, ever.
Don’t they remind you a bit of Caprese Salad in the first picture up there?
Ever since we ate the Fried Green Tomatoes last year, I have been eagerly waiting for green tomatoes to come back in season so I could make them for the blog, and James has been impatiently begging me to make them. And then one day I went to the grocery store, and they were finally there. The next day, I made these, and three days later I rushed to put this post together to share the recipe with you.
Usually there’s at least a week between the time I make something and the time it’s posted here, because I like to prepare the photos and the post and my schedule, but Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette wait for no one.
Make them as soon as you can, while they’re still in season, and you’ll see exactly why we’ve been craving these for months and months.
- 4 green tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
- ¾ cup corn meal (yellow or white both work fine)
- 2½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fresh basil, chopped, to top
- 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled, to top
- 7 oz roasted red peppers
- 1½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar works, too)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs (such as basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice the green tomatoes into ½" rounds, discarding the tops and bottoms.
- Combine the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Combine the bread crumbs, corn meal, kosher salt, and black pepper in another shallow bowl. Pour the flour on a separate plate.
- Dip the tomatoes in the flour to coat, then the egg, then the bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat the tomatoes well with the breading. Set the tomatoes aside.
- Add vegetable oil to a high-walled, heavy-bottomed skillet, to about ½" high. Heat over medium-high heat.
- As you wait for the oil to heat up, combine the Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth, with just a few small chunks of red pepper remaining.
- When the oil is hot (you can test this by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil and seeing if it bubbles), add in 3-4 green tomato slices, depending on how large your pan is. Fry until golden brown on each side, flipping once. Remove the Fried Green Tomatoes from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
- Reduce heat to medium and fry the remaining slices, 3-4 at a time.
- Once all of the tomatoes have been fried, top with crumbled goat cheese and fresh basil. Serve with the Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.