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 Fried Green Tomatoes
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 #frydaeblog absolutely everywhere.
Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!
Summertime Fried Green Tomato Salad
- 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
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 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.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.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.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.
Copycat Trader Joe's Green Goddess Dressing
- 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.
- 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.