Food & Drink

Coast Cooking: Fried green tomatoes


Special to the Sun Herald

Fried green tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are making a huge comeback on the Coast. It is hard to find a restaurant that doesn't offer a version of this old Southern dish.

Several local places have fried green tomatoes as a burger topping, and they are good. Most often fried green tomatoes are found garnished with crab meat and a sauce of one sort or another.

 If you are a serious foodie, you know that sauce-making is an art. Have you tried to make your own mayonnaise? What about the basic French mother sauces: béchamel, veloute, espagnole, allemande, tomate and hollandaise? If you can't make those, you, my friend, are no saucier.

Hollandaise is one of the sauces with which you might be familiar, and from that you can derive béarnaise. Béarnaise is a great sauce, so when I saw it on the menu at the newly reopened Firefly Tavern in Ocean Springs I was impressed, and it was used as a garnish for fried green tomatoes, along with crab. It is great to see someone making this classic sauce and doing it so well.


Batter and fry thick slices of green tomato

Top with lump crab

Béarnaise sauce (1 stick butter, 3 egg yolks, tarragon, shallots, champagne vinegar, and white wine)

The sauce is going to take practice, so I give just the basics here. If the subject really interests you, get a copy of James Peterson's classic book, “Sauces.”