By the end of the summer, you have surely eaten tomatoes prepared in almost every way possible. Perhaps you are a little bit weary of collecting them if you overplanted. The tomatoes that may otherwise go to waste can be used in this tasty way if you get them early. The perfect tomatoes must be firm, with no red. Cut the slices fairly thick, about half inch will do. I don’t like to use the ends as cut sides make for better breading.
You will note that I have used Panko bread crumbs. I used them because they are so nicely crunchy. If those are not available to you, saltines are perfectly suitable. The cornstarch you will use first helps the breading stick to the tomato slices. This technique is helpful in all types of breading and frying. The cornstarch does not add taste to the dish. Just be sure that it doesn’t clump or make too thick of a coating. You just want to absorb moisture with it.
I’ve suggested coconut oil, as it is more healthful than some other types of oil. Frying these vegetable slices won’t take as long as frying meats, so the coconut oil will work for this. It won’t work for frying all other things. The smoke point is too low for frying meats. Make sure not to get that flame set too high. Give the slices plenty of time to brown at a medium to medium low temperature.
2 cups Panko crumbs or crushed saltines
1 tablespoon Italian spice blend
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon celery seed
⅓ cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup coconut oil
3 medium green tomatoes, cored and sliced
In a shallow pan, mix the panko and spices. In a second shallow pan, place the cornstarch. Place the beaten egg in a third shallow pan. These three shallow pans will form your breading station.
In a large frying pan, heat the coconut oil. Be sure not to overheat the oil as it will burn. Dip the slices of tomato in the cornstarch, then the egg and finally the crumbs. Fry the slices until golden brown.
Put the fried tomato slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with a bit more salt. If desired, serve the tomatoes with hot sauce or cocktail sauce. Mix your own if you like with a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise, horseradish sauce to your taste and a tablespoon of ketchup. For an interesting change, try some wasabi mixed into soy sauce. ♦