Fried Pickled Green Tomatoes Take The Southern Classic To A New Level

Pickled fried green tomatoes
Pickled fried green tomatoes - Rudisill/Getty Images

Fried green tomatoes are a brilliant culinary creation. They're perfect for folks who are a little impatient with their garden, as the dish makes clever use of tomatoes that haven't yet become ripe. Of course, you can also buy green tomatoes at the grocery store. All it takes is a quick dip in some egg and buttermilk, a coating of breadcrumbs (if you're using this easy fried green tomato recipe, or cornmeal for a more traditionally southern version), and then frying them in a skillet until crunchy and golden on the outside. The mellow tang of the green tomato is part of what makes the dish so delectable. But what if that tang were even more pronounced? It can be achieved with the simple substitute of pickled green tomatoes in your next batch.

Pickled green tomatoes are on the shelves of many grocery stores, often with other pickled food products, and some brands are located in the Kosher foods section. Plenty of Southerners pickle and can their own green tomatoes, but you can shorten the process with the Italian method for pickling green tomatoes, which takes a mere 48 hours and requires just salt, vinegar, herbs, and olive oil. Make them even quicker by marinating green tomatoes in leftover pickle juice for a few hours, though the flavor will be less intense. When frying pickled tomatoes, you don't need to change your recipe, but you'll want to be sure to drain all the brine and pat them dry, so the coating will stick.

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How To Serve Fried Pickled Green Tomatoes

BLT with fried tomatoes
BLT with fried tomatoes - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

When serving fried pickled green tomatoes, you don't have to do much to dress them up if you don't feel like it. They're impressive and tasty straight from the skillet, with a little salt and pepper. They're even better with a creamy dipping sauce. The tart tanginess of the pickled green tomato works best with mild, creamy accompaniments, like an easy buttermilk ranch or a green goddess dressing. If you're not in the mood for dipping, you can add something cool and creamy as a topping, such as a sprinkling of goat cheese, or even something heartier like a dollop of a cold seafood salad.

Fried pickled green tomatoes are a welcome addition to sandwiches, wraps, and subs, making a creative substitute for regular tomatoes. Try adding some to your regular BLT for a unique twist on the classic sandwich, or stuff a few fresh-made fried tomatoes into a grilled cheese or panini. You can also use pickled fried green tomatoes anywhere you'd like an acidic punch (in other words, wherever you like to use pickles). Add interest to a thick, juicy cheeseburger with a layer of crispy slices. They're a perfect foil for the creamy, cheesy components. For vegetarians and vegans, consider making pickled fried green tomatoes the star of a sandwich on their own. Add lettuce (no need for tomato, of course) and a sandwich spread of your choice for a novel meat-free culinary creation.

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