I feel the need to inject something light and summery into my recent barrage of pumpkin spice this and baked chai that. After all, we technically have a whole week left of summer. There’s still time to run barefoot through the sprinkler, eat ice cream cones (dairy free of course), dine outside, and make these un-fried green tomatoes.
Apparently early autumn is a great time for making fried green tomatoes. You may see more green tomatoes at your market because the cooler temperatures and dwindling daylight mean that tomatoes still left on the vine are less likely to fully ripen now. Fried green tomatoes are a Southern U.S. delicacy, which means my Midwestern self has absolutely no authority on the matter, whatsoever. Besides everything I could learn via the internet and my foggy memory of the 1990s movie, my knowledge of FGTs is pretty limited, however I’ve always wanted to try making them. I have this fascination with Southern food, especially Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as the classic Southern U.S. comfort food favorites like fried green tomatoes. Just keep in mind this is my (Michigan girl) version, meant to be healthier, but every bit as delicious. They may not be authentic, but by golly, I think they taste pretty awesome.
So what do fried green tomatoes taste like? They’re a combination of crispy cornmeal coating and piping hot, tart, and tender cooked green tomatoes, made all the more delicious accompanied by a cool, creamy dip. I really had no idea what to expect when I made these for myself and my family while I was visiting a couple of weeks ago. To my delight, everyone loved them. I think we were a little surprised at how good they were. We dolloped a little vegan sour cream over them the first time I made them, and then I decided to up the healthy wholesome factor a notch and make a thick,tangy, cashew cream with fresh herbs to dip and drizzle over the hot slices. Mm mm mm!
My suggestion? Don’t let those poor green stragglers on the tomato vine go to waste, whip up these easy, un-fried, egg- and dairy-free fried green tomatoes and enjoy them as a side dish or appetizer. Eating outside on the deck (after running through the sprinkler barefoot one last time) is optional, but highly recommended.
Oven “Fried” Green Tomatoes and Herbed Cashew Cream (Vegan + Gluten Free)
Adapted from my Oven Fried Pickles
Makes approximately 12 – 16 slices
3 – 4 Green Tomatoes sliced about 1/4 inch thick (choose large tomatoes that aren’t incredibly hard, and give just a tiny bit upon pressing)
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I toasted several slices of gf bread and them whirred them in the blender into crumbs)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (preferably organic)*
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp chickpea flour
- spices: 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder **
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- a few pinches each of salt and pepper
Herbed Cashew Cream (best made ahead of time)
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked for a couple of hours, preferably
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- dash of garlic powder
- 2 tbsp minced fresh herbs: basil, cilantro, or parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 1 or 2 baking pans by lining with very lightly oiled parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the first 5 ingredients, this will be the dry coating. In a separate container, whisk together the remaining ingredients, this will be the “wash.” Gently pat the tomato slices with a tea towel or paper towels; this is optional but will help keep the wash and coating stick.
- One at a time, dredge the tomato slices through the wash then immediately coating them with the dry crumb mixture and setting them on the pan leaving a little room between them.
- Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip, then bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Serve hot.
To make the cashew cream, simply blend all ingredients except the herbs in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust lemon juice, acv, and salt. Stir in the herbs and place in the fridge for an hour or so; it will get thicker and the flavors more pronounced as it chills.
*In place of cornmeal, you can use almond meal or more breadcrumbs
**Try adding other spices to the dry coating: a few shakes of Cajun seasoning, or dried or fresh dill are also delicious additions.
Have you ever tried Fried Green Tomatoes? Be sure to let me know if you give these a whirl, I’d love to know how you liked them!