If you just can’t wait for the taste of summer, you should have some fried green tomatoes. It’s especially nice to save some of your early green tomatoes from the garden and have those summery fried green tomatoes in the middle of winter.
Generally speaking, you can prepare your sliced green tomatoes for frying and then freeze them. Slice the tomatoes, dip them in an eggwash and a seasoned cornmeal mixture. Then, just pop them into a deep fryer or a skillet directly from the freezer whenever you want a bite of summertime.
Continue reading for specific instructions on how to prepare, freeze, and make fried green tomatoes, how to freeze green tomatoes for other uses, and recipe suggestions for green tomatoes.
- Freezing Fried Green Tomatoes
- Frying Frozen Green Tomato Slices
- Refrigerating And Reheating Leftover Fried Green Tomatoes
- Freezing Green Tomatoes
- Freeze Whole Green Tomatoes
- Freeze Quartered Green Tomatoes
- Recipes For Green Tomatoes
- Concluding Thoughts
- Related Questions
Freezing Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are the best when they are eaten right after cooking. Already cooked fried green tomatoes do not keep well.
If you store the leftover fried green tomatoes in the refrigerator, they will not be as crispy as they were on the first day when you reheat them. Also, the coating is likely to fall off as it absorbs moisture from the tomatoes.
You can, however, freeze green tomatoes before frying them. Then, you can cook them directly from the freezer without thawing whenever you want to cook up a batch. To freeze green tomato slices for frying, follow all the recipe’s steps, but freeze the slices instead of frying them.
Preparing Green Tomato Slices For Frying And Freezing
Prepare baking sheets to hold your coated tomato slices in the freezer by lining them with parchment paper.
Cut green tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Set the slices out on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
Set up an area for dredging the tomato slices with three flat bowls or pie pans. In the first pan, pour in half a cup of finely ground cornmeal (white or yellow, either is fine). In the second bowl, make an egg wash by beating 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk (or buttermilk). In the third bowl, combine ½ cup of cornmeal, ½ cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, ½ teaspoon of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of paprika, and ½ a teaspoon of garlic powder.
Pat each tomato slice with a paper towel. Press it into the first bowl of cornmeal, then tap off any loose cornmeal. Next, dip the slice in the egg wash, followed by coating the slice in the final bowl of the cornmeal and flour mixture.
Lay each coated tomato slice on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure that the slices are not touching or stacked up. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When the slices are frozen hard, you can stack them into a rigid airtight container or a ziptop freezer bag.
When properly stored, these battered, sliced tomatoes will be good in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Frying Frozen Green Tomato Slices
When you are ready to have a little burst of summertime, you can fry up these tomato slices straight from the freezer.
Heat vegetable or coconut oil in a skillet. Once it is hot, place the frozen slices of battered green tomatoes in the oil in a single layer. Let them cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Leave them alone while they are cooking so that you don’t loosen the breading.
When the fried green tomato slices are golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil and lay them out on a pan lined with paper towels or a gridded cooling rack. Be sure to make a single layer of slices — not stacking them — because the breading may become moist and fall off. After about 10 minutes of cooling, they can be stacked or placed in a bowl for serving.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce like ranch dressing or comeback sauce.
Refrigerating And Reheating Leftover Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes are best when you eat them immediately after cooking. But if you have a few leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for a few days. Layout the leftover slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate. Cover loosely and place in the refrigerator.
Reheated fried green tomatoes will not have the satisfying crunch of freshly cooked ones, but you can get a good crunch by reheating them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the slices in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until they are warm and crispy.
Freezing Green Tomatoes
If your garden has been producing tomatoes late into the fall, you may find yourself with a couple of plants full of green tomatoes when the first frost hits. You can freeze those tomatoes so that you have them throughout the winter for a variety of dishes. When frozen properly, your green tomatoes will be good for up to a year.
Slices For Fried Green Tomatoes
You can freeze slices of green tomatoes without the breading to use for frying later. Core and slice the tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Separate each slice of tomato with parchment paper or waxed freezer paper and stack them into an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
To fry these slices later, defrost only long enough to separate them. Coat them in breading and fry while they are still frozen.
Freeze Whole Green Tomatoes
If you are not sure what you have planned for your late crop of unripened green tomatoes, freeze them whole and figure it out later. You can peel the tomatoes first or leave the skin on when freezing them.
To peel whole tomatoes, wash and core the tomatoes. Then, dip a whole tomato into a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Immediately remove it and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and make the skins easy to peel. Allow the peeled tomatoes to return to room temperature.
Place your whole tomatoes (peeled or not) in one layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for an hour or more. When the tomatoes are frozen solid, move them off the baking sheet into a rigid container or ziptop freezer bag. Tomatoes frozen in this way are good up to a year in the freezer.
The benefit of freezing the tomatoes individually is that you can easily take out only the amount you want to use for any one meal.
Freeze Quartered Green Tomatoes
If you are planning on pureeing or stewing your green tomatoes, freezing them in quarters is an efficient space-saving method.
Wash and core your tomatoes, then cut them into quarters. Fill your freezer bags or rigid containers with the quartered tomatoes and place them in the freezer. Be sure to squeeze out all the excess air from freezer bags, and use containers that fit the amount of material you are freezing.
Consider freezing these quartered tomatoes in portion sizes so that you don’t have to deal with large quantities at any one time.
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Recipes For Green Tomatoes
Green Tomato Salsa
Combine unripe green tomatoes with onions and jalapeno peppers for a tangy, zingy twist on salsa verde.
Start by broiling 5 small halved green tomatoes, 1 halved jalapeno pepper, and a quartered onion for 5 minutes. (Take the seeds out of the jalapeno for a milder taste.). Flip the vegetables over and broil on the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
Alternatively, you can throw the cut tomato, onion and pepper in a skillet with just one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the skin of the tomato and pepper begin to blacken.
Move all the vegetables to a food processor and add 3 garlic cloves, ½ cup of cilantro leaves, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Pulse the food processor until the salsa reaches the consistency you like.
Serve with chips or your favorite taco platter.
If you are sensitive to spicy foods, start with only half of the jalapeno. On the other hand, if you like a spicier salsa, leave the jalapeno seeds in the mix.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Go Green Frittata
A Frittata is a great way to use up extra veggies that are hiding in your fridge. If you have never made one, imagine a dish that is somewhere between an omelet and a quiche. It is easier than you think to make.
Choose a saute pan that can go into the oven. Heat olive oil in the pan on top of the stove, then add 3 large thinly sliced leeks. Cook the leek slices until they are soft and golden brown. Add in 3 chopped green tomatoes 1 ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the tomatoes become tender, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs, then add the leeks and tomatoes from the pan. Stir in ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese and ½ cup fresh torn basil leaves.
In another bowl, whip 2 egg whites until they are stiff, then fold the whites gently into the vegetable mixture.
Return the saute pan to the stovetop and coat with a little more olive oil. Bring the oil to medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 5-6 minutes.
Uncover the pan and place it under the broiler. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the frittata is set but not overly browned.
If you find yourself craving the tart summery taste of green tomatoes in the winter, or your garden blesses you with a late crop of green tomatoes, you can freeze them for up to a year. If you want fried green tomatoes, slice and batter the tomatoes, then freeze the slices before cooking them. Then you can cook them directly from the freezer when you are ready.
You can also freeze whole and quartered tomatoes for salsas, juices, stews, casseroles, and other recipes calling for green tomatoes. Store your tomatoes in an airtight container and enjoy them all year round.
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My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked in the accounting field. I am also a Certified Food Handler. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to mom’s life and homemaking.