Fried Green Tomatillos and Aioli

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.

Fried Green Tomatillos and Aioli
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins


  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 ½ teaspoon blackened seasoning or Cajun seasoning*

  • 2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, or green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temp**

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • 1 garlic clove

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • ¾ - 1 cup olive oil

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 1 ¼ cup yellow cornmeal

  • Kosher salt

  • ground black pepper

  • Canola oil, for frying, as needed

  • 2 scallions, sliced


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

437 Calories
40g Fat
19g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 437
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 12.4mg 62%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1.3mg 7%
Potassium 339mg 7%
Folate, total 16.3mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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