Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern treat, perfect for summer months when green tomatoes are plentiful. Served with fried pickles and okra and a cooling crème fraîche riff on ranch dressing, a platter of super-crunchy, tangy fried veggies will make you the star of every summer party or weeknight dinner.  Be sure to pat your vegetables dry before you fry them so the breading will stick and stay crisp. Crème fraîche can be temperamental like mascarpone and break if you stir it too rapidly, so stir the herbs in gently to guarantee a perfectly creamy dipping sauce.

Karen Rankin

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Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary test

active:
30 mins
total:
45 mins
Yield:
4
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Ingredients

DIP
FRIED VEGETABLES

Directions

Make the dip
  • Sprinkle kosher salt over garlic on a work surface. Using the side of a knife blade, mash garlic mixture to form a paste. Stir together garlic paste, crème fraîche, dill, chives, and lemon zest in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

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Make the fried vegetables
  • Slice tomatoes into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices. (You should get 4 to 5 slices per tomato.) Cut and discard stems from okra pods, leaving pods whole. Set tomatoes and okra aside.

  • Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large cast-iron skillet; heat over medium-high to 325°F. (Closely watch the temperature, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain 325°F.)

  • While oil heats, place cornstarch in a wide, shallow dish. In a second wide, shallow dish, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. In a third wide, shallow dish, whisk together cornmeal, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Dredge tomato slices, okra, and pickles in cornstarch, shaking off excess; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture, patting cornmeal coating onto vegetables. Place breaded vegetables on parchment paper–lined baking sheets.

  • Fry coated tomato slices and okra pods until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Fry pickles until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Transfer vegetables to baking sheets lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt after removing from oil. Serve fried vegetables with dip.

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