Fried Green Tomato Salad

The word salad is seriously deceptive in this post. This leads me to say: I hope my doctor doesn’t read my blog. These fried green tomatoes are deadly and should be made with caution. But as Michael Pollen says in his book Food Rules, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” The rule points that if you had to make all the french fries you ate, you’d eat a hell of a lot less of them. The process of frying is work intensive but fun from time to time. So, please don’t judge me by what I’m about to admit.

This month’s June/July Garden & Gun Magazine features Fried Green Tomatoes. Francine Maroukian calles them “Slices of Heaven” and she is so right.  After making Kevin Callaghan’s recipe, I totally agree. Kevin is a North Carolina chef living in Carrboro (one of my favorite places) and working in the kitchen at Acme Food & Beverage Co. He fries his green tomatoes (dipped in buttermilk and eggs – then dredged in flour, cornmeal, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper) in — deep cleansing breath — 2 cups of canola oil and 1 cup butter (2 sticks). Has your heart stopped yet? No worries, mine hasnt. But, I also forced myself to walk four miles in 90 degree heat and 75% humidity the next morning. Poor Winston didn’t get to eat the tomatoes and he still had to walk!

I served the fried green tomatoes on top of a Sarah Foster inspired grape tomato and local goat cheese salad dressed in aged balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil.

So here is my advice:

1) Make these. Subscribe to Garden & Gun Magazine and get the recipe. It is one of the most beautiful magazines I’ve seen and always had relevant articles on my favorite things – food, entertaining and the South.

2) Follow Michael Pollen’s rule #39, #63 and #64. Only eat fast food when you make it yourself (39), “cook” (#63) and “Break the rules once and awhile” (#64).

3) Buy local ingredients – especially this summer. Everything (but the flour and seasoning) in this recipe I was able to find locally – between my garden and the farmers market. Good quality ingredients make everything taste so much better.

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