Fried Green Tomatoes – Gluten-free!

This is a guest post from a Fab Frugal Friend, Kimberly, which I think befits the female friendship symbolism of the fried green tomato – well, ever since the movie at least. (If you haven’t seen it, go rent this classic ASAP!) I had the pleasure of visiting her in Oregon recently, and we got to feast from the fantastic farmer’s markets. Lucky for me, I got to experience her authentic fried green tomatoes (she’s a Southerner) and she was kind enough to come up with a gluten-free version for us!  (Alas, neither one of us thought to photograph them before they were devoured.) The chickpea flour was an absolutely perfect substitute – think about how well the chickpea flour tastes when fried for falafel. .


4 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup chickpea flour, divided
5 to 6 green tomatoes, sliced
1 to 2 cups water, soymilk, or milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tamari or hot coffee, to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. How hot? Kimberly says, “I don’t measure the temperature, but I heat it to the low end of high and I know it’s ready when I stick a wooden spoon in it and little bubbles form all over the spoon.” As it’s heating, combine cornmeal, 1/4 cup of the chickpea flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt with a fork on a plate. Mix about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the milk with 1 tablespoon flaxmeal in a small bowl, also with a fork.  Coat both sides of the tomato slices with the milk/flaxmeal mixture and then dredge in the cornmeal-chickpea flour blend.

Fry until soft on the inside and golden brown and crisp on the outside, doing a few at a time as your skillet size permits. Sprinkle the remaining flour into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until brown. Then stir in the milk of your choice, salt and pepper to taste, and a bit of tamari or black coffee, depending on desired thickness and flavor.

One more thing: grits on the side. Strongly recommend.

— posted by Anne

I couldn’t find anymore green tomatoes at the farmers’ market so I haven’t replicated the ones I made the other night… but I was just flipping through my other favorite cookbook, Cookin’ Southern Vegetarian Style by Ann Jackson, and I noticed that her recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes and Gravy is Lily-friendly if you use chickpea flour or some other non-wheat flour for the gravy (and chickpea flour makes better gravy anyway).

Yield: 4 servings

These tomatoes are good with real down-home dinners of beans and potatoes, or for breakfast with tofu scrambled eggs, potatoes, and biscuits.

4 Tbsp oil (or enough to barely cover the bottom of the skillet)
5 to 6 green tomatoes (These have to be hard and green, not even a little red.)
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 Tbsp flour
1 to 2 cups water, soymilk, or milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tamari or hot coffee, to taste

Heat some oil in a cast-iron skillet. Slice the tomatoes and coat both sides with the cornmeal. Fry the slices until they are soft inside and crispy outside, but not burnt.

When you have taken the last slice from the pan, sprinkle in the flour and let it cook a few minutes until brown. Then stir in the liquid, a touch of salt and pepper, and a bit of tamari or black coffee.

(Don’t forget to make the grits!)

Wish I’d just consulted the cookbook from the get-go, heh. I didn’t even think of milky redeye gravy but it would’ve been perfect. Oh well, next time!


  1. says

    You definitely want underripe tomatoes. They should be really firm, almost like apples, to keep them from going mushy. You can also add a tablespoon of cider vinegar to the milk/flax mixture to give it a kind of buttermilk twang, or just use buttermilk.

    I was so tickled to see this. Thanks!

  2. says

    I am very excited to try this recipe. Thanks Anne and Kimberly!

    Years ago I tried making fried green tomatoes (probably after I saw the movie!) and they turned out just awful – greasy, tasteless, tough discs.

    I am thinking the chickpea flour will make a much more interesting and flavorful crust.

    One dumb question, Anne: these are actual “green” as in “under-ripe” tomatoes, right? Not just some variety of tomatoes that are green when they are ripe?

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