I took art lessons just down the sidewalk from the cafe that was prominent in Fannie Flagg’s book and movie Fried Green Tomatoes. I have fond memories of that neighborhood and those hours when I stole away from my corporate job at lunch time, removed my starched white shirt, and tried to master watercolor painting. I have two presentable paintings from that era and an inclination to like fried green tomatoes.
Fried green tomatoes don’t show up on menus very often and I never thought to try making my own until this past Sunday when I came home from Cherith Farms with greens, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, and three frost-bit green tomatoes. I thought tomato season was long past in Alpharetta, Georgia, but a few green tomatoes made it to this past weekend. Mary Busman sent me home with three and instructions to let her know if the few she kept were worth cooking. My text message to her after my first try: “Wow! Go for it.” I enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes as an appetizer Sunday night and Fried Green Tomatoes with Scrambled Eggs as breakfast Monday morning. Now if I could just find a source of more green tomatoes.
Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes
4 fresh eggs
1 or 2 green tomatoes
1 sweet yellow onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Wash tomatoes and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch think slices. Mine had a little frost damage so I discarded the ends. Season both sides of tomatoes with salt and garlic powder. Melt 1 or 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomato slices to skillet and let each side sear 4 minutes for a total of 8 minutes of cooking time. Meanwhile, peel onion and chop into half-moon slices. Crack 4 eggs into a coffee cup. Use a fork to break yolks and stir eggs into a uniform slurry. Remove tomatoes to a plate when done and add a handful of onion slices to the hot skillet. Add a little olive oil after a minute or two. After the onions have cooked for 3 to 5 minutes, pour eggs into skillet and season with a dusting of salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Scrape the eggs off the bottom of the pan almost continuously over the next few minutes until the eggs are as dry as you like them. Transfer to plate with tomatoes. Dust eggs and tomatoes with black pepper and eat!
Note: Most recipes for fried green tomatoes call for coating them with corn meal or flour before frying them, but I found they cooked up nicely in clarified butter without help from anything but spices.