Every year I make a summer road trip from Houston to Cincinnati. It’s about 17 hours each way, for a total of 2,000 miles. 2000 MILES!!! That is a heck of a lot of driving. But I love it and I look forward to it each year. I break the trip up into two days and almost always stop in Memphis on the way there.
This year it was just me and my oldest son, Jonah, who was going to jazz guitar camp at the University of Louisville. We stayed in downtown Memphis right on the Tennessee River and made our way to Beale Street for dinner and meandering. We ate at Miss Polly’s Soul City Cafe and I had fried green tomatoes. Traveling as a vegan can be challenging at times, but wherever I go, I seem to do just fine. And this meal was no exception. It was fun Southern soul food and I loved it.
Throughout my trip, I had it in my mind that when I got home I would whip up a batch of fried green tomatoes, so I gathered ingredients along the way. First up, I spent a lovely afternoon at the wonderful Hyde Park Farmers Market in Cincinnati. When I lived there, I had the privilege of being the Market Manager for a season. It was one of the best experiences for me. I got to visit farms and to meet and know so many amazing farmers. I still love spending time talking to them about their growing season and what is new on the farm. (If you ever go to a farmers market with me, be prepared to spend a long time…because I like to talk.) Among the many things I picked up at the market that sunny afternoon was this little bag of homemade cornmeal…perfect for my fried green tomato project.
Then somewhere in East Texas on my way home, I stumbled upon this great little roadside market. And although I was clipping along making good time in my drive, I quickly made a U-turn after I passed this gem. It was so nice to stretch my legs for a bit and pick up some gorgeous fruit and vegetables. And best of all, I had found my GREEN TOMATOES!!!
Once home, this is the first thing I wanted to make. I have always made my fried green tomatoes with Old Bay seasoning. It’s the best, so easy to make and packed with lots of flavor. I placed my farmers market cornmeal in a bowl and combined it with the seasoning, salt and pepper. I dredged the tomato slices first in gluten free all purpose flour; then in almond milk and finally in the cornmeal mixture. Super easy technique that gets your hands a little messy, which I love.
Next, I made a vegan version of remoulade sauce. Several years ago, I had fried green tomatoes in New Orleans with this sauce and it’s perfect. I made my version with roasted red peppers and it totally works. I served the tomatoes with a green salad loaded with farmstand peaches, cucumbers and Texas pecans. Heaven on a plate!
Old Bay Fried Green Tomatoes
Makes about 8-10 slices
2 green tomatoes
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 all purpose flour (gluten free if that’s your thing)
1/4 unsweetened almond milk
Slice tomatoes about 1/2 in thick. Combine cornmeal, salt, pepper and Old Bay in a shallow bowl. Place flour and milk in two separate shallow bowls. Heat griddle or large saute pan and about 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Dredge tomato slices first in flour, then the milk, and finally in the cornmeal mixture. Place in the pan and cook until lightly brown and crusted on both sides. About a few minutes per side. Add more coconut oil if the pan seems dry. Serve warm or room temperature with remoulade sauce.
Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup
1 roasted red pepper (homemade or from a jar)
1/2 cup vegan mayonaise
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp organic ketchup
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
Generous pinch of ground white pepper (or to taste)
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Serve with fried green tomatoes.