Movie titles aside, fried green tomatoes turn out to be the perfect pizza topping for all of you gardeners currently gazing wistfully at the never-to-ripen tomatoes left on your vines. I guess technically you could pick green tomatoes all summer long, but it seems like a fall food to me. A final recognition that the harvest is winding down and the cold is settling in.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES:
- First, prepare three bowls for breading the tomatoes. In one shallow bowl or pan, put 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
- In a glass measuring cup or similarly deep bowl, combine 1 lightly beaten egg and 1/2 cup buttermilk. (If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can put a tablespoon of white vinegar in your measuring cup first, then fill up to the 1/2 cup mark with regular milk. Let it sit for a few minutes before adding the egg.)
- In another shallow bowl or pan, combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Slice 3 medium-sized green tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices.
- Dredge the tomato slices in the plain flour first, then dip them in the egg mixture, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture so they have a nice coating. Flour doesn't stick very well to the juicy tomatoes, so it might not look even.
- Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet and heat on medium. Put the tomatoes in a single layer in the hot oil and cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
At this stage, I highly recommend helping yourself to a fried green tomato appetizer. Yum yum.
Now, if you still have any fried tomatoes left after your taste-test, it's time to prepare the pizza itself. Layer the toppings in this order:
- Very best pizza crust ever, par-baked with a drizzle of olive oil and 2 chopped garlic gloves sprinkled on the top
- Grated mozzarella
- The fried green tomatoes, evenly spaced across the top (and fried jalapeños if you choose!)
- Chopped red bell peppers or mild cherry peppers
- Chopped chives