When green tomatoes are out of season, chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan suggests swapping in tomatillos. "It's not a tomato, but it's tomato-esque," she says.
In a large bowl mix buttermilk with blackened seasoning. Add tomatillos; let stand 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; add a wire rack.
For aioli: In a food processor combine yolk, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch kosher salt; pulse a few times. With processor running, slowly add enough olive oil until sauce is thick. Add cayenne and pulse a few more times; chill.
For tomatillos: In a medium shallow bowl combine the cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. One by one, take a tomatillo slice, shake off excess buttermilk, and dredge in cornmeal, making sure each side is thoroughly coated. Place slices on rack.
In an extra- large skillet add canola oil to about 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium. Working in batches, fry tomatillos until golden brown 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Continue until all are cooked, adding oil as needed. Drain on a platter lined with paper towels. Garnish with scallions and serve with aioli. Serves 10 to 12.
*If you don't have one of these blends, stir together a little paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.**Use a pasteurized egg's yolk if you have a compromised immune system.