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Summertime Fried Green Tomato Salad

Summertime Fried Green Tomato Salad

This colorful salad is bursting with summer flavors. Loaded with sweet peppers, fresh corn, and red onions surrounding crisp fried green tomatoes, this salad is tossed in a tangy green goddess dressing and served with pulled pork or chicken.

Who else is sad that summer is leaving us?! Since we were in the midst of building a house and moving the past few months I feel like we hardly got to experience summer this year. It makes my heart ache that the snow will be coming for us before we know it. While I wait for fall to arrive however, I’m going to hold onto the flavors of summer with this Fried Green Tomato Salad with Copycat Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Dressing.

This salad has all of summer’s best flavors—sweet, fresh corn kernels, crunchy bell peppers, creamy avocado, and zesty red onion. The real star of this salad though are the fried green tomatoes. If you’ve never had a fried green tomato, you’re in for a real treat. Their crisp breading contrasts beautifully with the juicy, slightly tart flesh of the green tomatoes.

How to Make a Fried Green Tomato

Making fried green tomatoes is super easy. The most difficult part of the recipe is finding the green tomatoes. If you grow your own tomatoes, then you’re in luck! Simply pick your tomatoes before they start turning red. If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, head to your local farmer’s market or you might find them in the produce department of your grocery store. Fresh Thyme Markets and Whole Foods generally have them in my area.

Once you have your tomatoes, wash them and then slice them between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch thick. Next, sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and allow them drain onto a towel-lined baking sheet for a few minutes. You want to remove some of the excess moisture before breading. While the tomatoes drain, fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat. You want the oil to reach a temperature of about 350 degrees before frying the tomatoes.

From here, the process isn’t any different than breading and frying other vegetables or meats. Simply dip the tomato slices in a mixture of milk and beaten egg. Then dredge the tomatoes in a mixture of salt, flour, cornmeal and panko breadcrumbs. I love the texture the tomatoes get from this blend of ingredients. Repeat this process once to get a nice, thick coating of breading on each tomato slice.

Once your oil is preheated to 350 degrees, carefully place 2-3 breaded tomato slices into the hot oil. Let the tomatoes cook for 3-4 minutes and then carefully turn over when golden. Let cook for an additional 3-4 minutes and remove when golden onto a towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper while still hot and let cool.

 

 

How to Assemble the Salad

If you can resist the urge to just gobble up the freshly fried tomatoes, the next step is assembling this gorgeous salad. For the base, I like to use a bed of traditional “spring mix” salad greens. Next, top the salad with a handful of fresh corn kernels, thinly sliced red onion, sliced sweet peppers and chucks of ripe avocado. Finish the salad with 2 fried green tomato slices and a healthy sprinkle of cotija cheese.

To dress the salad, I drizzle the whole thing in a homemade green goddess salad dressing. My version is an attempt at creating a copycat version of Trader Joe’s green goddess dressing. So, if you’re short on time, you could totally run to your nearest Trader Joe’s for a bottle of their dressing too. I just love how this lemony, avocado-herb dressing compliments the flavors of this salad and adds some extra acidity.

Also, if you want to add a protein to this salad, I love to add some tender pulled pork or grilled chicken breast basted in your favorite barbecue sauce.

Are you ready to say goodbye to summer? I love fall as much as the next girl, but I also love the hot summer weather too! They’re complicated feelings so luckily I have this yummy salad to help me process my conflicting emotions.

If you try out this Fried Green Tomato Salad recipe, please give it a rating and leave a comment down below with your thoughts. You can also follow me on social media—it’s @frydaeblog and #frydae absolutely everywhere. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Summertime Fried Green Tomato Salad

This colorful salad is bursting with summer flavors. Loaded with sweet peppers, fresh corn, and red onions surrounding crisp fried green tomatoes, this salad is tossed in a tangy green goddess dressing and served with pulled pork or chicken.

Course Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Salad Dressing
Cuisine American, barbecue
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large green tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 ear sweet corn (kernels removed)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 avocados (sliced)
  • 2 small red bell peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (grated)
  • 1 pound barbecue pulled pork or grilled chicken (optional)

Trader Joes Copycat Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1 large avocado
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons green onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water (as needed to thin dressing)

Instructions

  1. Begin by washing and slicing the green tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Next, lay the tomato slices on a paper towel-lined cooling rack and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let drain for 5-10 minutes to remove as much excess moisture from the tomatoes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet filled with about 1-inch of vegetable oil to 350 degrees. While the oil heats, mix together the cornmeal, panko, flour and salt and pepper on a large plate. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together.

  3. Next, carefully dip each tomato slice into the egg mixture and then press both sides into the cornmeal mixture. Repeat a second time to give each tomato slice a nice, thick breading.

  4. Once all of the tomato slices are coated and the oil has reached 350 degrees, carefully place 2-3 tomato slices into the hot oil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes and then gently flip over once golden. Let the other side cook for an additional 3-4 minutes and then remove using a wire spatula onto a paper towel-line wire cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with a little salt and let cool. Repeat until all the tomato slices are fried.

  5. While the tomatoes cool, make the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredient, except water, into a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth and then add salt and pepper to taste. If the dressing is thicker than you prefer, add few tablespoons of water to thin to reach the desired consistency. Set aside.

  6. Next, assemble the salad. In a bowl start with a bed of mixed greens. Add corn kernels. sliced peppers, onions and avocado. Then top with the fried green tomato slices. If you want to add a protein, add some leftover barbecue pulled pork or grilled chicken breast. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and then drizzle everything with the green goddess dressing. Serve immediately.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, everyone and their grandma claims to have the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. What sets these cookies apart? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

It’s been a quiet past few weeks on the blog. Sorry for the silence, friends! For the past few weeks my husband and I have been focusing all of our energy into moving. We only moved across town, but man, no matter the distance, moving is always such a process. Thankfully, we’re finally to the point where I feel like we can start settling back into a normal routine. The house still needs quite a bit of decorating and our basement is still a cardboard box disaster but it feels good to be back in a house we can call our own.

For those of you who don’t know, we sold our previous home in December and have been staying with my parents while the new house was being constructed. My husband deserves a massive award for living with the in-laws for almost 8 months! Luckily, I have amazing parents and we get along great with them. We certainly miss their company but at the same time it’s nice to have our own space again too.

This week, I’m sharing a recipe that appropriately commemorates moving into our new home. It’s a classic that never gets old and is always the perfect treat to bake when christening a new kitchen: chocolate chip cookies. These aren’t just ANY chocolate chip cookies though. They are the BEST homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I know, every blogger and cookbook claims to have the very best chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s probably because chocolate chip cookies are so subjective. One’s definition of “the best” is usually deeply rooted in childhood memories and based on what they grew up eating from their mother’s cookie jar. This recipe is loosely based off of my mother’s recipe but incorporates different ingredients, tricks and tips I’ve learned over the years while I was on my quest to create the perfect chocolate chip cookies.

 

Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’ve been on a similar quest for the best chocolate chip cookies, hopefully I can save you a lot of time (and calories) with this recipe. However, before we get to the recipe, I’d like to share with you a few tips that I learned along the way for making outstanding chocolate chip cookies.

Always use dark brown sugar—and lots of it

Using dark brown sugar, rather than light brown sugar, adds such a richness and depth of flavor to cookie dough thanks to the extra molasses it contains. While most recipes seem to use a higher ratio of white graduated sugar to brown sugar, I recommend using the opposite. I couldn’t believe the difference this made to the taste and texture of my cookies the first time I tried it. I have to thank my sister-in-law for this tip!

Don’t skimp on the vanilla

Whether you’re using vanilla extract or paste, don’t be shy about using vanilla. A little extra vanilla will go a long way in giving your cookie dough lots of flavor. I also recommend using pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. The good stuff may be a little more expensive, but the results are worth it.

Don’t overbake

One of the mistakes I think a lot of people make when baking cookies is they overbake them. If you love a good crisp on the outside, tender on the inside cookie, as I do, bake the cookies until they’ve spread evenly and are just barely golden on the edges. You want the center of the cookie to still look a little shiny and soft. Don’t worry, they won’t be raw and doughy once they cool.

Temperature is key

Everything from the temperature of your butter while mixing to the temperature of your dough when it goes into the oven is critical to great cookies. If you want the perfect chocolate chip cookie, don’t cut corners. Making sure your butter is softened and at room temperature will make all the difference in getting the dough mixed just right.

Also, if it’s extra hot in your kitchen and your dough is super soft, resist the temptation to bake your cookies right away. I always recommend chilling your cookie dough for at least an hour. It helps ensure your cookies won’t spread too thin while baking. If you’re short on time and have to bake your cookies right away, form your dough balls while the dough is still soft and then place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. I’ve found this quick little blast in the freezer can set my dough in a pinch if I don’t have time to chill the dough for a full hour. 

Put these tips to the test when you try out these perfect chocolate chip cookies. After making this recipe once, I can guarantee they’ll become a part of your regular baking rotation.

If you try out this recipe for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, please give it a rating and leave a comment down below with your thoughts. How do you like your chocolate chip cookies? This is my perfect version, but I’m always curious to hear how others define the “perfect” cookie. 

Finally, make sure you’re keeping up with me on social media—it’s @frydaeblog and #frydae absolutely everywhere. Stop by and say hello!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Now that I’m unburied from moving boxing I’ll be back to a more frequent posting schedule. I’m looking forward to sharing some super delish fall recipes with you soon. Have a wonderful weekend and happy Frydae!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, everyone and their grandma claims to have the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are my "best" chocolate chip cookie. Made with lots of dark brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, a hint of coconut extract and plenty of chocolate, these will become a new family favorite.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 26 minutes
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened, room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

  3. Next, in a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Mix until fluffy, smooth and lightened in color. About 3 minutes.

  4. Add vanilla, coconut extract, cinnamon and eggs. Mix until well-incorporated.

  5. Now, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mixing on low until each addition is fully incorporated. Periodically scrap down the sides of your mixing bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.

  6. Once incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chopped chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.

  7. Once well distributed, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 1 hour in your refrigerator.

  8. Once the dough is chilled, remove from the fridge and form dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press the balls dough to partially flatten them. This will help them spread evenly while baking.

  9. Place into a preheated oven and let bake for 8-11 minutes. Remove from oven when they're just starting to turn golden on the edges. If the tops still appear a little glossy, that's fine—you don't want to overbake them.

  10. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet to set and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling. Enjoy with milk.

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