Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Goat Cheese

Being the ignorant Northerner that I am, I always thought that green tomatoes were transformed at the beginning of the season into fried green tomatoes because nobody could wait for those first tomatoes to ripen. I have been enlightened by my Southern friends and now understand that these tomatoes are actually harvested at the end of the season out of fear of the upcoming frost. I am happy to eat them at either end of the season, particularly gilded with Vidalia onions (pronounced VIE DAY LI A please; I got corrected on my Northern pronunciation too by several Southern viewers), mozzarella, and a little herb mayonnaise.

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

3 large green tomatoes (10 to 12 ounces each)
Kosher salt
Quick Herb Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 large sweet onion
8 ounces soft goat cheese
Freshly milled black pepper
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, sliced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
8 slices country bread, toasted

Trim off and discard a thin slice from each end of the tomatoes. Cut each tomato into 4 slices. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt, using about 1/2 teaspoon total; drain in a colander 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Quick Herb Sauce, thinly slice the onion and slice the goat cheese 1/3-inch thick (use unflavored dental floss).

Pat the tomato slices dry, season with pepper, and dip in cornmeal to coat on both sides. Heat the oil with the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until hot and the garlic just begins to turn golden; discard the garlic and set aside half the oil. Increase the heat to medium-high and brown half the tomatoes on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Repeat with he reserved oil and tomatoes.

Spread half of the Quick Herb Sauce over 4 slices toasted bread. Top with onion, goat cheese, fried tomatoes, remaining herb sauce, and remaining bread. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.

Quick Herb Sauce: Combine 1/2 cup packed, rinsed, and dried fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons packed, rinsed, and dried fresh parsley leaves, 1 scallion (white and light green parts), coarsely chopped, 1/2 large garlic clove, minced, and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest in a blender and puree until very smooth. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

One Response to Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Goat Cheese

  1. marilyn l. feldmann says:

    I and my friend who is a master baker are interested in trying all these recipes out on friends.We always watched your cooking shows…….you are one of the best! bon appetit from carbondale, IL

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