The end of summer means a lot of things around our house, but one thing that it always means is that it’s fried green tomato season. I never had fried green tomatoes until I met my wife and this is a real tragedy as they are one of the most truly amazing foods on planet Earth. Part of it is because they are so seasonal – although we did somehow miraculously come upon some green tomatoes at the grocery store in February this year. We bought every one and had to answer to Heidi’s incredulous mother when I posted pictures of them to Facebook.
To say that they are delicious is an understatement. The taste of an unripe tomato stands in stark contrast to its ripe counterpart. The green tomatoes are tart vs. the sweet of the red ones. They are also much stiffer prior to ripening, which comes in handy when you try to cook them. Trying to bread and fry a ripe tomato would be a huge mess. If they start to ripen at all, not only do they not fry up as well, they also lose their tart flavor and are generally unsatisfying. I prefer them to breaded and fried morel mushrooms, mostly because it’s 1000 times easier to score green tomatoes than it is the elusive morel.
Inspired by a cooking bit we caught on Good Morning America while we were on vacation, we decided to try BLTs with fried green tomatoes. Why had we never thought of this, we said? It’s a brilliant idea! We found a few green tomatoes at the Ames Farmers Market on Saturday and today for lunch, we fried them up to put with the bacon and lettuce.
With my wife being egg and dairy sensitive, we use egg replacer instead of real eggs. Additionally, we mixed soy milk with vinegar to make a soy buttermilk to mix the egg replacer with. Breading consisted of regular white flour. We use vegan mayonnaise instead of real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. If we had used some kind of meatless bacon, it would have been a completely vegan dish. However, Heidi is “vegan with a side of meat” as she so frequently says.
This was the outcome.
Believe me, it tasted as good as it looked. Plus there were a bunch of fried green tomatoes left over to have as a side dish. However, I burned both my lip and my tongue while frying them because I was a little impatient in wanting to try them.
BLFGTs are sure to make another appearance, if not this summer, then next summer. Or maybe in February if we get lucky again.