A couple of weeks back when we were predicted to get a freeze on Crow Mountain, I spent half a day gathering herbs for drying, apples, zinnias and cock’s comb for bouquets and green tomatoes for my new favorite salad of all time.

This salad is so versatile you can invent your favorite way to enjoy it by changing the greens it is served on and adding diced ham, hardboiled egg or chicken if you wish. I have made it on mixed greens and spinach but I plan to make it on coleslaw, cooked collard greens and maybe even spicy mustard greens. Every time I have served it, I have gotten rave reviews. I don’t fry many things but I make an exception for this delightful salad that can be a side or main dish. But hurry, if you want to enjoy it with ripe, home-grown tomatoes because, to me, those are the only tomatoes worth eating!

Salad greens or cooked greens of choice
2 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices and salted
1 small thinly sliced red onion
1 can seasoned black-eyed peas, heated through
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil for frying
Buttermilk dressing
Cornbread muffins

First lay down a bed of clean, crisp greens-preferably organic. Or, if you are using cooked greens, keep them warm until just before serving time, then lay them on the plate first as you build the dish.
 Mix, in three separate small bowls, the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper; beaten eggs and the buttermilk. In an electric or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil to about 325 degree or medium-low heat. When the oil is ready, dip the green tomato slices into the buttermilk, then the egg and, finally the seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture. Fry until golden brown on each side and drain on paper towels. Lay down a ripe tomato slice. Top it with a fried green tomato slice. Allow two of each for each person. Scatter black-eyed peas and red onion slices over all and liberally drizzle on the buttermilk dressing. (Add chopped ham or chicken if desired.) Serve immediately with warm corn muffins.I am soooo glad I got to my green tomatoes before the freeze did!

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