Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern summer treat often cooked in bacon grease and dunked in a mayo-based sauce. They are wonderfully delicious, with their combination of tart, juicy tomato slices and crisp, seasoned breading. This is a dish that absolutely needs to break away from its regional roots. But it's difficult to justify a 600-calorie side dish. Could we keep the tart tomatoes and crunchy breading and save a bushel of calories? Y'all know we could: We live in the heart of FGT country.
Classic 574 calories each 40.7 grams total fat 717 milligrams sodium
Makeover 154 calories each 7.7 grams total fat 215 milligrams sodium
2 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes Tip #1: Pickle Trick
Most tomatoes are salted before and after frying; instead, we season with a quick brine to save 100mg sodium per serving.
3 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes Tip #2: Crunchier Coating
We toast the panko for more crunch and pan-sear in olive oil to save 111 calories over frying in bacon grease.
4 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes Tip #3: A Drizzle of Dressing
Avoid the dunk; drizzle instead. We use nonfat buttermilk and brighten with herbs to save 28g fat over heavy ranch.