Summer is all about inhaling as many ripe heirloom tomatoes as possible. But this recipe shares the love with a not-so-ripe southern classic: fried green tomatoes. Thick slices of underripe, firm tomatoes are breaded and fried into heavenly tangy and crunchy disks. Instead of eating them on their own, we shove them into a monster BLT that truly becomes a farmer’s market celebration. All you need are some Shun Knives to slice up the ingredients and a little bacon grease, and you’ve got yourself a party.
Before we reveal the magic behind these BLT sammies, let’s chat knife skills! We used a 6.5” Serrated Utility Shun Knife to slice our crisp green tomatoes and to peel, pit, and slice our perfectly ripe avocados, and an 8” Premier Chef’s Knife to make the garlic paste and mince the herbs for the aioli.
So, what takes these fried green tomatoes to the next level is the method of frying. Coated in a combo of panko, Italian-style breadcrumbs and cornmeal, these slices are fried in a combo of bacon grease and vegetable oil for extra flavor, marrying that combo of bacon and tomato that’s so crucial to a great BLT. Just be sure to slather on plenty of this hot sauce-laced mayo, and put out plenty of napkins for whoever is devouring these sandos!
Click here to sharpen up on your knife skills!
- 1/ 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/ 2 cup buttermilk
- 1/ 2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/ 4 cup italian style breadcrumbs
- 1/ 4 coarse cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 firm green tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
- 8 slices thick cut bacon
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 8 slices seeded bread, toasted
- 1/ 2 cup Spicy Chive Mayo, (recipe below)
- 2 red heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 head butter lettuce, cored
On a clean work surface, set up 3 shallow bowls, filling one with flour, one with buttermilk and one with a mix of the panko, Italian-style breadcrumbs cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt. One at at time, dredge each slice of green tomato in flour, then in buttermilk and coat in the breadcrumb mixture to fully coat. Place on a platter and continue until all the tomatoes are coated.
In a large skillet, arrange the bacon in a single layer and heat over medium. Cook, turning as needed, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is golden and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
To the skillet of rendered bacon fat, add enough vegetable oil to come up ½-inch in the skillet and heat to 350°F. Working in batches and flipping once, fry the coated tomatoes until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, seasoning with salt immediately.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread mayo on one side of all the toasted bread. On four slices, begin to divide fried green tomatoes, bacon, heirloom tomato slices, sliced avocado and lettuce. Top with remaining toasted bread and serve immediately.
For the Spicy Chive Mayo
- 1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste
- Kosher salt, to taste.
In a small bowl, stir mayo ingredients until incorporated.