for the love of tomatoes!
everyone always called me a picky eater growing up, but i love the way my sister, joelle, puts it… you weren’t picky, you were particular! i am still particular about things, especially when it comes to fruit sadly. the texture of most fruits are a no-go for me, and tomatoes USED to be one of them. that was until i spent a summer in charleston, south carolina for a summer, where fresh tomatoes are a summer staple. my friend, henslee, gave me my first real introduction to tomatoes through her incredibly delicious tomato pie, that i am still trying to the get the recipe for! my friend walker’s family had also kind of taken me in as a stray that summer since i was staying in the dorms at college of charleston and had me over for dinner almost every night so that i wasn’t living solely off of pizza and subway 😉 one morning mr. barnes cooked fried green tomatoes for breakfast with breakfast sausage… that’s all there was so i really had no choice unless i wanted to go hungry so i chowed down, and found that i loved them!
when it was time for me to leave charleston at the end of the summer, i bought the barnes’s a book of amazing tomato recipes as a thank you for taking me in and introducing me to such an amazing food! i now love everything about tomatoes – their colors, their shapes, the intricacies and designs of the insides of gorgeous heirlooms, their names, and of course, their taste!! i always have tomatoes on hand, but this time of year is when you have to let yourself go a little extra crazy over them since their season is coming to an end. so go make a tomato pie, some fried green tomatoes (i’ve included my recipe below), some toast with mayo & tomato & fresh ground pepper, or just sprinkle one with salt and take a big bite out of it like my mom does and enjoy them before their season runs out!
fried green tomatoes with a lemon aioli
3 green tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
2 cups rice krispies cereal
2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup canola oil mayo
zest & juice from 1 lemon
1 T olive oil
salt & pepper
put the flour, eggs, and cereal into three separate bowls.
slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. put the 2 cups canola oil into a large skillet and turn on high heat. while the oil is heating up, dredge each slice of tomato first through the flour, then the egg (making sure every last inch is coated in egg), then the cereal and set on a plate to the side. to test the oil’s heat, run your hand under water and lightly sprinkle a few drops into the oil. if it sizzles, it’s ready.
carefully place each slice of tomato into the skillet and cook on both sides until golden (this will happen rather quickly so don’t walk away). place each slice on a plate lined with tin foil and a paper towel while you make the aioli.
to make the aioli, mix the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil together. season with salt & pepper to taste.
to serve, place the tomatoes on a plate with the aioli in a side bowl and enjoy!