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Diamond Oaks Fried Green Tomatoes with Sweet Basil Aioli – Gotta make it!



Fried Green TomatoesFOTOFrGrnTomsB4 Heikenfeld

When Debbie Goulding, Executive Kroger Chef, asked me to help mentor the Diamond Oaks Career Center culinary students to prepare appetizers, dinner and dessert for 120 guests, how could I say no?


First of all, just working alongside Deb is an honor – she is a multi-talented and generous individual who has made her mark in the national food industry. Deb is currently Chairman of the board of our Cincinnati chapter of the American Culinary Federation. This is their 11th year mentoring high school students in the culinary arts.


She and Molly Maundrell, Chef Instructor for the Diamond Oaks culinary program and a board member of the ACF, developed an amazing menu consisting of no less than18 items.


Working with these 2 dedicated women, and young students was not only fun, but also inspiring.


By the time they finish the Oak’s 2-year program, the students will have learned basic knife skills, cooking, baking, kitchen management, hospitality, and everything else in between. Talk about a head start to higher culinary education!


Check out the photos below this recipe.


Since green tomatoes are abundant right now, I wanted to share Deb’s recipe.

Fried green tomatoes with sweet basil aioli/mayo


The only thing I adapted was the flour – you can substitute all-purpose for the rice flour. Deb said the rice flour makes the coating more tempura like, lighter than regular flour. I ate way more than my share!


Yield:  4-5 servings




Sweet basil aioli


1 cup    basil leaves, fresh, loosely packed


1/2 cup mayonnaise


1 tablespoon lemon, juice & zest


1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard


Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground


Fried green tomatoes:


1 cup    rice or all purpose flour, divided


1 large egg


1/4 cup buttermilk


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 cup yellow cornmeal


Kosher salt


1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


2 medium green tomatoes, sliced 3/4 – 1” thick


Vegetable oil, for frying




Aioli: In a food processor, puree the basil, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.


Tomatoes: In a large shallow dish, add 1/4 cup flour. In a separate bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate large shallow dish, add remaining 3/4 cup flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Dredge tomatoes in flour, followed by egg mixture and finally coat with cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess in between dredges. Place tomatoes on wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat process with all tomatoes. Pour a 1-inch layer of vegetable oil into a cast-iron or heavy skillet. Heat oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Carefully add tomato slices and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels, season with salt and cool. Repeat with the remaining slices. Serve on platter with bowl of Aioli.

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IMG_0498 IMG_0501 IMG_0502

Wait, there’s more!

In addition to their culinary arts program, Diamond Oaks offers a sustainable urban agriculture program. I got a tour of their greenhouse and loved seeing the hydroponically grown lettuces, container plants and trees.IMG_0554




Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/diamond-oaks-fried-green-tomatoes-with-sweet-basil-aioli-gotta-make-it/

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