Fried Green Tomatoes With Crab, Watermelon And Arnold Palmer Vinaigrette

Want more? Read the related story, "Mangia Meets Memphis."

Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman run Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy, both in Memphis, TN. The pair stopped by the Tasting Table Test Kitchen to give us their recipe for a fried green tomato upgrade partially inspired by their new cookbook Collards & Carbonara and partially inspired by drinks after a round of golf.

"We were drinking crunked up Arnold Palmers with vodka in them," Hudman recalls. "We're always talking about balance of flavors and that drink just is a nice mix of not too sweet, not too sour."

Ticer adds: "Michael had the idea to reduce it as a glaze for smoked salmon then this idea just came out of that."

Makes sense to us.

Recipe adapted from Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy, Memphis, TN

Fried Green Tomatoes With Crab, Watermelon And Arnold Palmer Vinaigrette
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Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman go full Southern in this fried green tomato, crab and watermelon salad.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 cups unsweetened freshly brewed black tea
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fried green tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups type 00 flour
  • 3 firm green tomatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Crab-watermelon salad
  • 1¼ cups jumbo lump crab meat (preferably blue crab), picked free of shells
  • 2 cups ½-inch watermelon cubes
  • 12 roughly torn fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly-sliced fresh chives
  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the tea, lemon juice and honey to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until syrupy and reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the mint sprigs. Set aside for 5 minutes to steep, then discard the mint and pour the tea syrup into a medium bowl. Whisk in the ¼ teaspoon salt and pinch of black pepper.
  2. Make the fried green tomatoes: In a small bowl mix the 2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper and set aside. To a shallow dish whisk together the flour with a few pinches of the salt-pepper mixture. To a medium bowl add the tomatoes and season with more salt and pepper. Cover with the buttermilk and turn the slices to evenly coat both sides. Remove the tomatoes from the buttermilk, season with more salt and pepper, then dredge in the seasoned flour. Repeat by dipping the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredging through the flour. Set the tomatoes on a plate.
  3. To a large cast-iron skillet set over medium-high heat add enough oil to fill the skillet by 2 inches. Once the oil is at 350°, after about 5 minutes, slide a few breaded tomatoes into the oil (don't overcrowd the pan), frying on both sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Use a metal spatula to transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Season each batch with more salt and pepper as they cool.
  4. To a medium bowl add the crab, watermelon, basil, lime juice, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper and gently toss to combine. Place 2 to 3 fried tomatoes onto each plate. Top with the crab-watermelon salad and sprinkle with the chives. Whisk the oil into the tea reduction, drizzle over the crab and tomatoes and serve.
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