opinions on food and travels

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn

<img alt="fried green tomatoes with grilled onions and corn" />
Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn

We’ve enjoyed so many different great recipes this summer, I haven’t done a very good job of keeping it up when it comes to sharing them with you.  What’s my excuse?  Well.  I’d say pull up a chair and allow me to share the photos of what we’ve been doing while enjoying the season to its fullest, but I’m out of wine and what fun is it to enjoy a slide show and chat without a beverage?

If you could have a sit with me out on the patio,  you might convince me the late afternoon air is not nearly as hot as what most have to deal with — or remind me it’s most likely the humidity which is rarely as high as it’s been, especially at this time of year.  And as we watch the color of the sunset turn the palms across the street a soft, glowing gold, we could plug in the party lights, light the votive candles in the jars on the table, and if you feel the slightest bit chilly, light the log I have in the chiminea, waiting for just this occasion.

We’d have to eat, of course, because good conversation flows more easily with food — as long as it’s good food.  Our food is always good.  Like this recipe for Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn.  I’ve never fried green tomatoes before, so when I saw them at the market thought it was about time.  When I was growing up, my mother talked about eating fried green tomatoes — how her mother had made them.  But we never had a vegetable garden, and I can imagine that if we did, picking tomatoes before they were ripe just might be some kind of a breach of garden etiquette.

If you’re still sweltering in the extended summer heat or humidity, then perhaps you’re like us — wanting to take in a lighter meal.  One that won’t leave you wishing you hadn’t eaten all that food, but more a feeling of having had something tasty and satisfying.

Let’s say this salad has some bite, shall we?  Oh, and because I made this more like I would for our family dinner —  I wasn’t exact with many of the ingredients (just like my mother when she made dinner).  Practice your estimation skills and you’ll be just fine.

<img alt="Green Tomatoes" />

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn

Serves 3-4 dinner portions

Tomato Batter Ingredients

3-4 green tomatoes, sliced thick

1/2 cup flour

1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt & pepper

2 eggs

splash of milk

3/4 c. Panko bread crumbs

dash of cayenne

sprinkle of smoked paprika

1 c. safflower oil for frying*

Salad Ingredients

4-5 hand fulls mixed greens, your favorite

3 green tomatoes, sliced thick

2-3 pieces bacon, thick cut, fried, drained, and chopped

fresh kernels from 1 cob of corn, grilled

1/2 sweet onion, sliced thick, grilled

1-2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients*

2-3 dollops plain 0% Greek Yogurt

splash of 1% milk

a little squirt of ketchup

a shake or two of Louisiana Hot Sauce

a smidgen of honey

a squirt of fresh lime juice

salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1.  Prepare the salad dressing first by combining all ingredients except the salt and pepper in a lidded jar and shaking to mix well.  Adjust dressing flavors to your liking by adding a bit more of this or that for flavor and/or consistency.  Season to your liking and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Prepare the corn by either grilling, then scraping the kernels away from the cob, or scraping the kernels raw into a dry skillet and cooking over medium heat just until beginning to brown.
  3. Prepare onions by grilling thick slices brushed with a bit of oil and lightly salted, or placing in a skillet with a bit of oil and cooking each side until nicely browned.
  4. Place the greens and all the other salad ingredients on a large platter so it’s ready to serve when the fried green tomatoes are finished.
  5. Mix the flour, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper in a wide bowl and set aside.
  6. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, and milk and set that aside.
  7. Pour the Panko bread crumbs in a third bowl, then line up the bowls assembly line style next to the stove.
  8. Heat the safflower oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  When a wooden skewer inserted in the oil draws little bubbles, it’s ready to go.
  9. Working with a slice of tomato at a time, drop into the flour first, dusting both sides, the egg mixture next making sure both sides are moistened, then the Panko bread crumbs last, coating both sides before lightly dropping in the hot oil.
  10. Allow to fry about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side or until there is a nice brown on each side.  Remove from the oil and allow to rest on a plate lined with several paper towels.
  11. Arrange on the salad platter, crumble the goat cheese over, and drizzle the dressing on everything.

<img alt="Preparing Fried Green Tomatoes" />

<img alt="Fried Green Tomatoes" />

<img alt="Creeping Fig on Garden Wall" />

<img alt="Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn" />

 

Recipe Notes

  • I love fried green tomatoes!  I’ve only had them once or twice and there’s been quite a bit of time in between those occasions, so not running to the stove to try my own hand is tell tale.  I could live without them.  To be fair, how often does anyone come across green tomatoes unless they grow their own?  Right.  Anyway, the flavor has a nice tartness to it and the texture of the green tomatoes even after frying is decently firm.  Quite tasty, in fact.  I think I’d LOVE all of the above on a sandwich.  Maybe next time!
  • *On the safflower oil — I keep it around for occasions like this.  It has a fairly high smoking point so is excellent for frying things which I don’t often do.  And while we’re on the subject of frying — I didn’t deep fry these.  The old cast iron skillet I use has a pretty broad base, so the tomatoes were never completely submerged.  I just made sure the oil was hot and watched the cooking time closely so the tomatoes didn’t soak up all the oil.  The last thing I want to taste when I do eat something fried is oil.  Safflower oil is also tasteless — another good reason to fry with it.
  • I strongly recommend using only one hand to dip because otherwise, most of the goodies will end up being wiped off — or your kitchen will have fried tomato batter all over it.
  • Don’t have smoked paprika?  Use regular sweet paprika or leave it out all together.
  • On the salad dressing — We’re not into gloopey salad dressings.  I know you probably think I harp on this, but when I do want a creamy style dressing, it still isn’t close to what most would consider creamy.  I like a tart, flavorful dressing more so than anything with viscosity.  You can doctor up these ingredients to be more creamy — just play around with it.  Sometimes, I mix the goat cheese right into the dressing and that will thicken things up.
  • My husband, son, and I enjoyed this salad one evening before we took him back to school.  Eating outside is a great way to get people to sit at the table longer and just enjoy each others’ company.  Love it.

<img alt="Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn" />