Putting leftover green tomatoes to good use with a recipe for crisp, savory fried green tomatoes topped with garlicky sautéed shrimp and a super simple remoulade.
I’m normally loathe to put a premature end to my garden tomatoes, and leave them up until the first frosts threaten in early November. But this year, with endless rain and very few sunny days, tomatoes came in late and petered out early – which means we’ve had plenty of green tomatoes, both in my garden and CSA share. And now, tomato season is definitively over.
With so many green tomatoes on hand, I had little choice but to perfect my fried green tomato game (note: chow-chow is also an excellent option). Going in, I’d assumed that fried green tomatoes centered on rendering inedible green tomatoes palatable. The recipe certainly accomplishes this. Along the way, I’ve come to love the flavor of green tomatoes. They’re punchy and acidic, and just like their ripe counterparts, the flavor blooms beautifully with a generous pinch of sea salt.
The first time I made fried green tomatoes, I went the traditional route – cornmeal, egg, and paprika. And though the results were tasty, with all the crunch and texture you might want, I felt there was room for improvement. I added finely grated Parmesan for savory complexity and honed my frying skills, yielding fried green tomatoes with a golden, crispy exterior and a yielding, acidic center. To accompany them, I whipped up a simple remoulade with plenty of horseradish kick and a mess of garlicky sautéed shrimp.
A note on the recipe: green tomatoes will eventually ripen on the countertop, though they’ll lack the depth of a vine-ripened specimen. For this recipe, tomatoes can be red or green, but you’ll want to be sure they’re still quite firm. I’ve found my favorite flavor comes from green tomatoes with just a flush of red – they have a nice mix of tang and sweetness.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Duke’s)
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley,
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- sea salt to taste
- 6 medium-sized green tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup grated)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- canola oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- sea salt
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley, plus more for serving
- 4 lime wedges, for serving
Working ahead of time, make the remoulade. In a medium bowl, use a fork to whisk together mayo, lemon juice, horseradish, Dijon, and spices. Fold in fresh herbs. Add sea salt to taste. Cover and set in fridge to chill 2 hours. Can be made 3 days ahead.
When ready to cook tomatoes, sprinkle both sides generously with 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper.
In a medium-sized bowl, use a fork to whisk together cornmeal, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper. Fold in Parmesan.
In another bowl, toss to combine shrimp, garlic, olive oil, and a big pinch sea salt.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set a cast iron skillet on the stove and turn heat just past medium. Pour in oil to a 1/4-inch depth. If oil begins to smoke at all, nudge heat down until smoking stops.
While oil heats, dip tomato slices in egg mixture. Using tongs or a couple of forks, flip tomato in cornmeal, shake off excess, and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Working in batches of 5 or 6, carefully fry tomatoes 1 - 2 minutes per side, or until exterior is a deep golden hue. Use caution around the hot oil; use tongs or a fish spatula to flip tomatoes, taking care not to splash oil. Set cooked tomatoes on a paper towel-lined tray and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all tomatoes are cooked.
Meanwhile, heat a medium sauté pan over medium/medium-high heat. Add half the shrimp mixture and sauté, flipping once, just until shrimp turn pink and curl up, 3 - 4 minutes total. Repeat for the second batch. Toss cooked shrimp with parsley.
To serve, layer fried green tomatoes on a plate, top with shrimp, and drizzle with remoulade and minced parsley. Garnish with a lime wedges, and serve.