Fried green tomatoes with fig anchoïade

Fried green tomatoes with fig anchoïade

Mr Wilkinson's Simply Dressed Salads
Jacqui Melville

An exquisite way to use two defining late-summer/early-autumn fruits. In the dark of night, you may just catch me walking the back streets of Melbourne, ‘lending’ figs and other fruits from overhanging trees… Green tomatoes are simply delicious fried like this – a great way to use up those never-ripening gems. This dish also goes well with baked ham wedges, or some pan-fried calamari.


Quantity Ingredient
3 large green tomatoes
150g quick-cook polenta
2 teaspoons icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
200ml olive oil
1 small handful small-leaf green mustard cress or mizuna leaves, washed

Fig anchoïade

Quantity Ingredient
3 really ripe figs, chopped
1 piquillo pepper, or preserved or roasted capsicum, chopped
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
12 blanched almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
150ml olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and chopped
2 teaspoons orange flower water, (see glossary)


  1. Start by making the fig anchoïade. Place the figs, piquillo pepper, anchovies, garlic, almonds, fennel seeds and olive oil in a blender and blitz until smooth. Scoop the mixture into a bowl, then slowly fold in the lemon juice, parsley and orange flower water. Season with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
  2. Slice the tops and bottoms off the tomatoes, then cut each tomato into four slices. Lightly sprinkle with salt and leave to sit for 3 minutes. (I salt the tomatoes to draw out a little moisture, and to soften them.) Place the slices on a tea towel and pat dry.
  3. Mix together the polenta, icing sugar and black pepper. Pat each tomato slice into the polenta mixture, coating them on each side. Place on a plate, ready to fry.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add half the olive oil (we’ll do the frying in a few stages). Without crowding the pan too much, and adding more oil as needed, fry the tomatoes on both sides for a couple of minutes, or until golden, placing each batch on a metal tray lined with paper towel, and heating through in the oven for 4 minutes until cooked.
  5. Once out of the oven, arrange the tomato slices on a plate. Spoon the fig anchoïade over and sprinkle with the mustard leaves. Serve warm.


  • You can use your fig anchoïade to dress up many different dishes; see the chapter introduction.
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