Nearly every local restaurant I've hit up over the summer has featured fried green tomatoes as a special or as a seasonal appetizer. And for good reason - they're pretty fantastic. And, for my money, they're even more fantastic with the counterparts of their - brethren - bread, lettuce, and bacon. This take on the BLT works in a few ways - the acid still comes from the tomatoes, but their greenness allows the bacon to provide most of the sweetness. And their crunchy exterior provides every reason to leave the bread untoasted, which now gives the sandwich its toothsomeness once provide by the firm, red tomato.
In short: it works. Believe me. Try it. Like tonight... Then make it again tomorrow with a fried egg on top.
Bacon, Lettuce, and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich
- Two green globe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-3/4" slices
- Cornmeal, one egg, and one cup AP flour
- Canola or peanut oil (for pan frying)
- 12 slices bacon
- Baby arugula (or sub tender romaine lettuce)
- Eight slices artisanal bread
Rosemary Aioli (which you should use on every BLT, fried green or not)
- 1/3 cup prepared mayo
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 5 grinds black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
**You can do the whole meal in a single cast iron skillet. Just wipe out the bacon drippings and bits after cooking so they dont burn. Try cooking everything outside on the side burner of your grill or portable burner to keep the cleanup light. You're gonna want to eat this outside at dusk, anyhow.
1). Crisp the bacon on the cooktop or in the oven, and drain.
2). Meanwhile, place the flour, the beaten egg, and cornmeal (seasoned with salt and pepper) into three separate shallow dishes. Dip the tomatoes into the flour on both sides, then the egg, then the cornmeal, and place onto a cooling rack or waxed paper.
3). Heat 1/4" of oil in a 12" cast iron skillet, and fry the tomatoes until golden brown, about five minutes per side.
4). While the tomatoes are crisping, whisk together the aioli - add the lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to the mayo, stir thoroughly, then stream in the olive oil.
5). Drain the tomatoes, then assembled the sandwiches. Spread the aioli on the bread, then stick the arugula to the aioli. Lay three pieces of bacon on the arugula, then add one large or two medium tomato slices. Top with the second slice of bread, and enjoy your summer.