Your BLT Sandwich Deserves A Little Fried Makeover

The appeal of a BLT lies in its simplicity. Even if you're looking to give the classic sandwich a makeover, you don't want to stray too far from the original by incorporating all kinds of sauces and ingredients. The key is to elevate one of the main components. While it's tempting to start with the bacon (since it's often considered the star), consider turning your attention to the humble tomato instead. For a fun twist on the standard red tomatoes included in a BLT, try layering on a few slices of fried green tomatoes. Not only will they make your BLT far more decadent, thanks to that crispy fried exterior, they'll actually improve it in a few other ways.

Green tomatoes typically have a firmer texture. While red tomatoes would likely disintegrate into mush when fried, a green tomato slice will soften but still hold up in your BLT sandwich. Green tomatoes deliver a punch of juiciness without turning everything soggy. And, since they are more on the sour side, they'll add a considerable amount of tang, which can help cut the fattiness of the bacon and mayonnaise. However, fried green tomatoes are best fresh, so to truly appreciate the contrast between the warm, juicy interior and crispy, breaded exterior, you'll want to add them as the last step before enjoying your BLT.

Mastering fried green tomatoes

If you've never made this Southern staple, we have you covered with a simple fried green tomatoes recipe. Anyone who knows the basics of making a breading mixture, dredging their food of choice, and tossing it in a pan of hot oil should be able to easily whip up this elevated BLT component. If you find green tomatoes a bit too sour, a touch of sugar in the breading can add some sweetness to balance their acidity.

When selecting your tomatoes, avoid ones that are too small. They can often be bitter. It's also important to look at the color, as not all green tomatoes are created equal. Look for tomatoes  that are a paler green rather than a very dark green. The former will be less bitter and also contain less solanine, an alkaloid that can be poisonous in high doses (although you'd have to consume around 22 ounces of the uncooked green fruit to cause any harm). 

Getting an entire pan of bubbling oil ready just for a few tomato slices may seem like a lot of work, so if you're just making one sandwich, you could also consider popping the breaded tomato slices in the oven or air fryer to crisp up the exterior. And don't worry about buying too many green tomatoes. From salsa to shakshuka, there are countless creative ways to use the leftovers.