John D. Ivanko
August 1, 2012

John uses both flour and cornmeal in his fried green tomatoes, combining the traditions of the North and the South. Photo by Rachael Brugger (
Photo by Rachael Brugger
John uses both flour and cornmeal in his fried green tomatoes, combining the traditions of the North and the South. We also add in wheat germ for added crunch.

Our gardens seem to be on their own schedule. While most things—from strawberries to summer squash—ripened weeks ahead of schedule, our beloved tomatoes keep lingering on the vine, ripening on its own pokey pace. Maybe this is simply the phase we go through every year at the beginning of August: impatiently waiting for that tomato bounty.

What’s our quick fix for ripe-tomato anticipation? John cooks up a batch of his fried green tomatoes. The sourness of the green tomatoes paired with the seasoned, breaded coating dance together in a crisp and tangy combination and, most importantly, enable us to savor tomatoes before the harvest officially starts.

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Call it preemptive taste. Over the years, we’ve had good luck selling green tomatoes at farmers’ markets, packaged up with this fried green tomato recipe. While traditional southern-style fried green tomatoes use a cornmeal-based batter and more northern versions incorporate white flour, our version of fried green tomatoes uses a bit of both, along with some wheat germ for added texture. Keep the tomato slices fairly thick, about 1/4 inch.

While fried green tomatoes are traditionally served as a side dish, try serving them as an appetizer. We recommend eating them as soon as they’re fried. Leftovers reheated in the oven are decent, but nothing can beat the crunch factor when they come out of the pan, so eat up. When you have your fill of these classic fried green tomatoes, we have a version in our Farmstead Chef cookbook that uses fried green tomatoes grilled that takes it in a new direction: layered inside a sandwich with cheese and basil.

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

Yield: Approximately 60 tomato slices


  • 5 to 6 medium green tomatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • dash pepper (to taste)
  • 2 T. vegetable oil (add more as needed)

Beat eggs and combine with milk. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, breadcrumbs, cheese, wheat germ, flour, salt and pepper for breading mixture.

Slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Dip into egg/milk mixture, and then dredge in breading mixture. Make sure both sides are fully coated.

In pan over medium-high heat, fry tomatoes in vegetable oil until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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