Outside of my grandmother’s back door is a little space that holds a goldfish pond, a few chairs, a porch swing, and a teensy little garden she keeps in large flowerpots. The last time I was over there, she was poking at one of her cherry tomato plants with a scrunched up face that obviously said, “Why won’t these little boogers turn red?” After she repositioned the pots a little and refreshed the sun-drenched soil, she explained that they’d grown up really nicely and then they’d decided to plateau in that milky (yet beautiful) green stage that tomatoes go through.
“I’m just gonna show ’em who’s boss and toss ’em in a fryin’ pan and make fried green tomato bites. Hmph.”
After we realized that that actually was a good idea, she tossed a handful in my car and I drove off, ready to experiment with those in-between tomatoes and thinking about how cute they’d be sitting next to a tiny piece of fried chicken or a miniature biscuit.
This is just a fun post. I don’t expect that any store will sell green cherry tomatoes, but if you have a garden and have some little tomatoes that haven’t quite grown up yet, you could try this just for kicks.
miniature fried green tomatoes
prep time: 20 minutes cook time: 4 minutes yield: 2 servings
8 green cherry tomatoes
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 cup buttermilk
peanut oil, enough to cover the bottom of a skillet
Slice the tomatoes to about 1/4 inch thickness and sprinkle each slice with salt. Place in a colander and allow the salt to drain the water from the tomatoes, about 20 minutes. Less moisture will result in a crispier fried tomato.
While the tomatoes are draining, mix the flour, baking powder, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl until combined. Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.
Dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour mixture. Add a small slice to the oil to test the temperature. If the tomato simply sits and nothing happens, the oil is not hot enough. If the oil bubbles up around the tomato, add the others. Fry for only a couple of minutes until golden brown and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Alright, y’all, I’ve gotta run. The Gamecocks are playing in the College World Series in just a few and I’ve gotta go get my rally cap ready.