October 23, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes with Ranch Sauce

Since I first read Fannie Flagg's book 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café' I have wanted to fry some green tomatoes. I think the first time I read the book was 8 years ago. In the space of 8 years, I have re-read the book three times, seen the movie several times and said I was going to fry some green tomatoes thousands of times-well more like 37 times, but who's actually counting?!

The book is my favourite. It makes me feel nostalgic. Not that I have any memories of America in the roaring 20's! But, I feel like I could have lived back then. It seems quite romantic to me, apart from the strong political movements! Hey, hey, let's keep it light and happy here!! 

Let's remember instead,  the homemade pies, soft drinks from bottles and jam jars, flappers, pin-curls, floral dresses, iced-tea, lemonade, the Charleston, Southern BBQ, fresh picked corn, big band, swing, jazz and best of all,  the fried green tomatoes. 

I should start off by stating that green tomatoes can either be unripe red tomatoes or ripe green tomatoes. I should also state that I don't like tomatoes. Nor will I- ever. I will eat a cooked tomato but never a raw one. The squishy bursting of seeds freaks me out. So, why do I want to fry green tomatoes so much? Because, I read about them one time and I have had the notion stuck in my head since. Let's just say it's on my bucket list. Now I can say it was on my bucket list. 

I went into Fallon & Bryne the other week to pick up sweetened chestnut purée for a cookery demonstration I was doing. I said to myself ''I'll be in and out in 2 minutes'', but was I? Somehow I managed to wander into the fruit and veg aisle and before I knew it I had a brown paper bag full of green tomatoes. 

I set aside an afternoon of slicing, egg dipping, cornmeal coating and frying for the green tomatoes. I'm glad I did this. Fried green tomatoes are my new thing-in a major way. The fried coating is amazing, but I think that goes without saying, and the green tomatoes are heavenly-tart, sweet and firm. Totally addictive. Get a fried green tomato, dip it in some creamy ranch sauce and eat, eat, eat. Ireland needs to get serving fried green tomatoes everywhere!!

These are perfect eaten on their own with a cool beer anytime. They make a perfect lunch, starter, snack or dinner!
I like my ranch spiked with a little Tabasco!

Holly x

These are the prettiest tomatoes I have ever seen. They're stripped like zebras...except green.

Slice them into 1/2 inch slices...

...dip in egg and coat in whole wheat, cornmeal, fresh cracked black pepper and cayenne.

I didn't take any pictures of the frying process-sorry. I was also stuffing a pork fillet for dinner! 

For the ranch dressing mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, crushed garlic, parsley and chives. 
Ranch is a herby, sour, creamy salad dressing served everywhere in America. We've gone totally American in honour of these fried green tomatoes. 

Once mixed, you'll need to thin it out with some buttermilk or milk! The buttermilk just gives it an extra tang. 

Recipe, Serves 3-4

6-8 Medium Green Tomatoes
3 Handfuls Whole Wheat Flour
2 Handfuls Cornmeal or Breadcrumbs
1 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Eggs
Splash Milk
1 inch of Vegetable Oil

In a flat bowl stir together the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, pepper and cayenne pepper.
In another flat bowl whisk the eggs with a splash of milk. 
In a pan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil-to approx 180°C .
Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices.
Dip in the egg mixture, coating the slices all over.
Dip in the cornmeal mixture, coating really well.
Once the oil is heated, in batches, carefully drop in the coated tomatoes.
Cook for 5 minutes on each side-make sure not to burn them!
Remove, drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
Allow the oil to come back up to temperature, continue frying until all tomatoes are done.

Ranch Sauce

100g Mayonnasie 
100g Sour Cream
10g Freshly Chopped Chives
5g Freshly Chopped Parsley
1-2 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Buttermilk/Milk

Finely chop the parsley and chives.
Crush the garlic cloves.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley and garlic together.
Add a little milk to thin the sauce.
Taste for salt.


  1. Fried green tomatoes are one of my favorite foods down here in the South. I'm glad they've made it over to you in Ireland! One of my favorite ways I've had them served is alternating with layers of herb cream cheese, and sauced with tomato jam and spring onion aioli. Heaven!

  2. Good recipe. But I think your facts are a tad wrong (sorry!).. Green tomatoes aren't unripe, they are just a different variety.
    Happy Cooking x

    1. Thanks Sarah, appreciate that!But along with green tomatoes being a different variety like zebra tomatoes they can also just be unripe red tomatoes! I added that in above to avoid confusion x