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Fried Green Tomatoes with Panko and Parmesan

July 29, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes with Panko and Parmesan

- Amanda

There are some southern foods, like biscuits and corn pudding, that have gained such a heightened perfection in our minds that we shy away from them in the kitchen. Fried green tomatoes are like that. We know how we’ve been taught to like them – edges crisp and gritty with cornmeal, and tangy succulent bellies – and if we don’t know how to achieve this, then why make them at all?

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So I confess. As a Yankee, I threw caution to the wind and bastardized the hell out of my green tomatoes. Instead of a flour or cornmeal coating, I went for a jagged cloak of panko and Parmesan, which crisped beautifully and tasted deliciously of toasted, nutty cheese. Although I did follow one Southern trick, learned from Beans, Greens, Sweet Georgia Peaches - to not only salt the tomatoes in advance, but also sugar them, too. Half an hour before cooking, you add this seasoning combo, which draws out some of the moisture and also balances the tart sting of a green tomato with a nod of sweetness. One last cheat: I turned to my non-stick pan over my cast-iron. I didn’t want even a crumb of the crust to be left attached to the pan and not in my mouth.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Panko and Parmesan

Serves 6

  • 4 medium green tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Like this post? See Amanda's post from last week: Squash Blossom and Garlic Frittata

Photos by Jennifer Causey

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Linda Y. February 28, 2015
could you freid them in a deep frieyer
Jen @. August 7, 2011
Yum! Fried green tomatoes are one of the greatest culinary inventions of the south. They also make a crazy caprese salad. I did that once and it changed my life. I fried the cheese too.
Alethia August 2, 2011
As a southerner myself, I've been obsessed with fried green tomatoes my whole life. My mom makes the most delicious (sorry Amanda!) by taking a sleeve of saltine crackers and whizzing them in the food processor with a little parmasean. After frying, a quick dash of hot sauce (Crystal in my family) and you've got a perfect summer dish!
mcs3000 August 2, 2011
Just saved this recipe - thanks!
jabberyjess July 30, 2011
Got green tomatoes at the farmer's market this morning specifically to make these. Drawing out the water now. I am so-so-so excited. Making pickled okra after... so far from my Minnesota roots! I really feel like I should have been born in the south.
mrslarkin July 29, 2011
Those shades of green are amazing! There may be some pilfering of green tomatoes from dad's garden. Don't tell!
lalala July 29, 2011
There is a movie, with Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker, but not with Oprah.
Kitchen B. July 29, 2011
There is a movie by the name right, with Oprah? Anyhow, seeing my love for Panko, I'll have to give this a go. Bet it would be fab with some hot mustard!
EmilyC July 29, 2011
Funny, I've always felt the same way about making biscuits. And fried chicken. I'm glad you "bastardized the hell" out of these for our benefit! They look fantastic; I'll be making them soon.
alextillotson July 29, 2011
I prepared thin slices of zucchini like this the other day then dipped them in freshly-made tzatziki. My yiayia (Greek for grandmother) uses egg and flour, but I love the crunch of panko and the nuttiness of the cheese. I could never improve on her tzatziki, though, so that stayed the same as always.
aargersi July 29, 2011
OK green tomatoes just went on the list - these look great, haven't had one in forever!!!