Late summer and fall are the time to find ripe red tomatoes in the farmers market. It’s a bit harder to find green tomatoes (unless you have them growing in your own garden!). We ordered a bag from our favorite farm stand and decided to try a popular southern dish, fried green tomatoes, as an unusual addition to a breakfast menu. The results were so popular we’re adding them to our regular breakfast repertoire. We served them with herbed scrambled eggs, cheddar-chive scones, and Niman Ranch sausage links. Delicious!
Making fried green tomatoes couldn’t be easier. Core and slice firm green tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet. The secret is then to sprinkle both sides generously with salt and sugar (like you were seasoning a steak) and let them sit 30 minutes or so to draw out the water and insure a crispy coating. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat and add two tablespoons olive oil and two tablespoons unsalted butter. Gently press each slice between layers of paper towels to dry and then dip each first into lightly beaten egg, and then press into a mixture of half panko bread crumbs and half grated Parmesan cheese, until both sides are thoroughly covered and the crumb-cheese mixture adheres well. Make sure the oil is hot but not smoking. Fry until bottoms are golden brown; turn and fry other sides till golden, adding more butter and oil if necessary. Top with eggs — scrambled, poached, or fried. Or try a fried green tomato benedict, using the tomato instead of an English muffin, topped with ham or bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. We found the basic recipe for the tomatoes on one of our favorite food blogs, Amanda Hesser’s Food 52. The recipe for the delicious cheddar-chive scones is in the new cookbook from Portland’s Standard Baking Company.