Friday, August 13, 2010

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes and Okra

Unfortunately, I was unable to rehome my tomato plants when I moved, because I had let them grow too tall and spindly, making them cumbersome to transport. These three cherry tomato plants had thus far only produced a few ripe red fruits; given another two or three weeks they would yield a bountiful supply of tomatoes, but under the circumstances, I made the best of it and picked off all the little green tomatoes. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you green tomatoes, you fry them, which likewise transforms the bitter to the sweet.

While I was at it, I decided to also fry okra, which is currently available at the farmers market. Fried okra makes a nice little snack, and I'd always wanted to try making it myself since a picnic long ago, when a bowl was passed round full of crunchy little okra bites perfect for popping into our mouths.

It turns out that cherry tomatoes are not ideal for dredging and frying because there are not enough nooks and crannies for the cornmeal to cling to. You can see below the little green globes devoid of fried goodness. I still enjoyed it, but I'd recommend sticking to full sized sliced green tomatoes and/or okra for this preparation.

Cornmeal Shallow-Fried Okra
Chop okra into 1/2 inch round slices. Chop cherry tomatoes in half. Prepare one bowl with an egg, whisked with a little water. Prepare another bowl with 1 cup cornmeal, salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Working with batches of okra a handful at a time, stir okra into egg mixture, and then transfer with a slotted spoon into the cornmeal mixture and toss until thoroughly coated.

Many recipes call for deep frying in a pot of oil, but I don't think that's necessary. Instead, I pour a shallow layer of sunflower or olive oil into a pan and heat until sizzling. Let the vegetables fry a few minutes until browned, and then flip to brown the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper or cloth towel to absorb some of the oil. Repeat with remaining batches. Let cool before serving.


  1. I need more okra in my life.

  2. I have only had fried green tomatoes once, but I remember really enjoying them! Maybe I will try this next time I see green tomatoes at the farmer's market.

  3. okra is just the best. i hope you get to plant many bountiful tomato plants in your new home.

  4. Fried okra is one of my favorites. If my nanny fixes supper for everyone, she will always make some fried okra just for me. Yumm.

  5. Fried okra is one of my favorites, only to be outdone by my mom's pickled okra which is soooooo good

  6. OMG! yummmm. i looovee fried okra. if you're ever in the south, i know some great restaurants with killer okra. xo