6 September 2011

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Sweet Basil Mayonnaise

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Sweet Basil Mayonnaise

As seen on Honest Cooking...With such a late Spring the seasons seem off kilter. In a recent drive south to pick blackberries I stopped at one of the local fruit stands and cherries were still available in ample supply. Now don't get me wrong I would never turn down a few cherries, but the season for cherries usually ends by mid July, and yet peaches, nectarines and even berries are overflowing from the market stands at the same time. The fruit seasons seem to be running together and we have produce spilling from our baskets.

The days get a bit shorter, a nip bites at the edge of the air, and you know that all of that lush promise is going to stop delivering. But an autumn garden can be a thing of beauty. Sure, your early-summer crops have come and gone, but apples are dripping off the trees, vines are laden with ridiculously large squashes and melons, and tomatoes are everywhere.  As soon as the frost descends, those tomato plants are done for.

We do not expect frost any time soon but while at a local farmers field I picked some green unripened tomatoes since the opportunity may not come up again. Green tomatoes are just regular tomatoes picked before they turn red, and have a more piquant flavour than their ripe brethren. When I think of fried, green tomatoes I start adding "y'all" to my sentences and want to sit on my front porch sipping mint juleps with a piece of Red Velvet Cake. In my eyes they are a very Southern dish! Tomatoes grow in such abundance in the South's lush growing season that green, unripe ones need to be picked throughout the summer to prevent the branches from collapsing under their weight. In contrast, unripe tomatoes are picked here in the Great White North only at the very end of the season, when it is clear that they will not ripen before the first frost.  I couldn't resist the thought of a fried green tomato sandwich even if it is not the season quite yet. But it is the season somewhere isn't it!  

Without the benefit of a garden of my own it is always a bonus when I find green tomatoes in my kitchen. This inevitably means fried green tomatoes are on the menu!!!! I was happy to recreate a twist on a standard bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with savoury fried green tomatoes, peppery arugula,and salty bacon all balanced with a creamy basil mayonnaise.

If you can find it, use fine white cornmeal, which I am told is the primary cornmeal used in the Southern United States where this dish originates. Buttermilk adds flavour and tang, but is not totally necessary for an outstanding result. The second day I refried my leftover Fried Green Tomatoes and served them with some mesclun greens with a dollop of Sweet Basil Mayonnaise...delicious!!!

Back to the Future....

Over four years of blogging I have found many wonderful recipes to share on these pages. Some from my own kitchen, some from your creative blogs and web sites, and some from well known celebrities and chefs. I have been feeling a little nostalgic and was browsing these very pages just the other day, creeping back to the very beginning in 2006 when More Than Burnt Toast was in it's infancy and no more than "knee high to a grasshopper". We all have those stellar recipes from when we first started when we were lucky enough to find one comment and have maybe one reader; in my case even before I was taking photos of the dishes I prepared. My other motivation for reconnecting with the past is to create uniform formatting on this blog and this is a fun way for me to revisit past posts.

So here are a couple of flashback recipes from the very first baby steps here at MTBT with...



**Fried Green Tomato BLT with Sweet Basil Mayonnaise**

Sweet Basil Mayonnaise:

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Sandwich:

16 (1/8-inch thick) slices bacon
8 slices country sandwich bread
1 cup loosely packed arugula
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fried Green Tomatoes (recipe below)

For the mayo: In a food processor, puree the basil, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the sandwich: Place the bacon slices in a large nonstick saute pan set over medium heat and saute on both sides until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to assemble the sandwich.

Prepare Fried Green Tomatoes according to recipe below.

To assemble the sandwich: Slather each slice of bread with a generous amount of the basil mayo. Top 4 of the bread slices with 4 pieces of crispy bacon, 2 fried green tomatoes and top with arugula. Finish by topping the sandwich off with the other slice of bread.

**Traditional Fried Green Tomatoes**
from Simply Recipes

3 medium, firm green tomatoes
Salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 egg
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil

1. Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

21 comments:

  1. look amazing Vall, delicious!! gloria

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful recipes, saved and on the menu, thanks so much!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a gorgeous twist Val! Love what you've done with the green tomatoes...I'm actually looking forward to tomato season!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Better than the movie? Looks just as good..what a combination!:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Val: Are you sure you are not a southerner? From the deep, deep south? I am--well, not from the deep south--and I never thought of using fried green tomatoes for a BLT. Why not? I wish I had thought of it. I am, however, going to try it.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  6. The seasons have definitely been crazy weird lately, but I'll never ever turn down cherries or delicious summer sandwiches!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am drooling. Are my southern roots showing? GREG

    ReplyDelete
  8. ooh...I want this for lunch tomorrow!

    P.S. Lucky you that's it's getting cool...we're still facing 95 degree days in FL.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oohhh...what a flavorful twist on an old favorite! This rates a visit to the tomato patch to find some green ones. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. These look wonderful, Val. Our produce and fruit has been disappointing this year. Berries were truly a bust and only the late blackberries have been really flavorful. It happens :-)I love the way youhave handled the greentomatoes. I'll wager they are delicious when fixed this way. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  11. From Buckwheat crepes to Basil Mayonnaise....wow everything is so interesting. I see something new everytime. I love your blog:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. A wonderful BLT! I love the addition of green tomato. This version rules.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Val they look amazing. I love your writing. You took me to the moment and the place so perfectly. I've never eaten FGT's before, it's not really a British thing but I guess there's nothing stopping me picking those green beauties before they ripen!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my gosh Val, what a mouthwatering combination. It sounds really wonderful :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Val - hard to improve on the classic BLT, but you did!
    LL

    ReplyDelete
  16. This looks so yummy...Soon will try this...I am bookmarking this...YUM YUM...Thanks for the recipe dear...
    -
    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh my gosh, this is making me drool. I have yet to eat a fried green tomato this summer. Must do something about that soon.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just missed the green tomatoes. I mean, I had some earlier, but now that I want them they're already gone!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just brought in some tomatoes and thought I would do a Fried Green Tomato search - and here is your post. Perfect. I cannot wait to try it - and the sauce sounds YUMMY. I am just making them on their own with the sauce. Simple. I cannot wait. Thank you!!!!
    :)
    Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can just imagine the taste of this sandwich. What a bright idea.

    ReplyDelete
  21. i like blts, but this is clearly a superior version. bravo, val!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.