Ripe red tomatoes sandwiched between slices of white bread is the quintessential taste of summer. But if you’re only eating ruby-hued tomatoes, look to the South to find summer’s unsung hero. Stubbornly unripe green tomatoes take a dip in tangy buttermilk, are breaded in cornmeal coating, and then fried until golden in a slick of hot oil. It’s time to try this easy Southern specialty at home.

The Secret to Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes

Wondra, the brand name for instant flour developed in the 1960s, initially appealed to me due to its retro blue canister, but has since proved its usefulness and earned a spot in my pantry. Instant flour is low-protein wheat that is pre-cooked, dried, and finely ground, resulting in flour that easily dissolves — lump-free! — in both hot and cold liquids. The low protein content and fine, even texture gives fried foods a crisp crunch while absorbing less of the frying oil. Here, that also means a coating that won’t slip off the tomatoes.

How to Make Simple Fried Green Tomatoes

Make this classic Southern side in three simple steps: slice, coat, fry.

Remoulade: The Sauce You Won’t Want to Miss

No serving of fried green tomatoes is complete without a dipping sauce, the best of which is a variation of French remoulade sauce — a pale pink sauce consisting of mayonnaise, mustard, lemon, hot sauce, and seasonings. Mississippians developed their own variation, “comeback sauce,” a not-so-subtle nod to the culture of Southern hospitality. Comeback sauce is also a mayonnaise-based sauce, but with a milder, sweeter flavor from ketchup and chili sauce. Spoon some sauce onto the bottom of the serving platter and stack the cornmeal-crusted tomatoes on top.

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