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How Do I Cook a Green Tomato?

A cookbook and utensils.
Lasagna can be made with green tomatoes as an ingredient.
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Green zebra tomatoes are characterized by green skin with yellow stripes and a tart flavor.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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Green tomatoes can be fried, baked, and sauteed for a variety of dishes. Fried green tomatoes are particularly popular in the southern United States. Baked green tomatoes are less common overall, but make a healthier snack. Sauteed green tomatoes are typically used as an addition to another recipe rather than a stand-alone side dish or snack. Whatever way you choose to cook a green tomato, there are likely dozens of recipes to pick from, so experiment and discover the method that best suits you and your family.

No matter the recipe, the green tomato is typically first washed thoroughly and then dried. For a fried or baked tomato, the fruit is sliced, and the very top is thrown away. A green tomato that is to be sauteed and used in pasta is normally diced rather than sliced.

When frying a green tomato, it is dipped into an egg wash and then coated in bread crumbs for a crunchy finish. Cooking a green tomato this way is similar to making breaded chicken strips. You slice and coat the food and then drop it into very hot oil until done. Some people fry ripe tomatoes in much the same way, but the cooking time is usually shorter. Red tomatoes can become mushy much faster than green tomatoes.

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Baked green tomatoes are somewhat healthier than the fried and sauteed varieties. The green tomatoes are simply placed on a lined baking sheet and then spiced to the cook’s preference, typically with salt and black pepper. Some people also coat the tomatoes with cornmeal to achieve a similar taste to fried green tomatoes.

Sauteed green tomatoes are normally part of a bigger dish rather than a stand-alone food. They can be eaten in stir fries, pastas, and more. For example, squash, green tomatoes, and onions can go well together when fried with oil or butter. To make the stir fry a meal rather than a side dish, you can add chicken, beef, or beans. As a pasta, a green tomato can go well with bow-tie noodles, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

A green tomato has a lot of flexibility, much like its ripe counterparts. If none of the most popular recipes appeal to you, just treat them as a substitute to your favorite vegetables. They can be thrown into a lasagna, soup, and much more. Some people even make a green tomato dip, which is basically salsa but with unripe tomatoes.

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