Coquitlam Farmers Market and Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches two ways

Fried green tomato sandwiches. photos Jake Henderson

It’s the last stretch of the race – the marathon month of June that has parents, students and teachers crawling to the year-end finish line. I call it the “Summer Betwixtathon” as it’s the period that stands between you and the golden days of summer.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though, and with farmers markets popping up like aid stations for weary runners, it’s a pleasant reminder that summer is just around the corner.

Recently my nephew, a budding photographer and grade 11 student, joined me on my quest to make the perfect economical Sunday meal using only seasonal ingredients from the Coquitlam Farmers Market.


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“You look like you’re off to take pictures for Rolling Stone magazine,” I tell him when he jumps into my car with his camera and Union Jack bomber in tow.

When we arrive at the market it takes but a minute before I have samples of both a smoked vodka and flavored whiskey in my hand.

I’m here to find green tomatoes for dinner but in the meantime we enjoy samples of cinnamon roll nut butter, smoked gouda filled pierogies and happy chats with super friendly vendors.

Once I have my groceries, we head to Limey in BC so I can buy some dehydrated limes. Joanne, the owner, tells me she started up her new business after illness forced her to shutter her doggy daycare in Port Moody.

“I was absolutely gutted,” she says. “But I’m better and this is now my full-time source of income.”

Joanne of Limey BC

Yup, between COVID, the closing of businesses and the rising costs of food, the last few years have been tough. However, it’s nothing previous generations haven’t been through, and we will get through it too.

In her book, How to Cook a Wolf written during the war and days of food rations, author M.F.K. Fisher asked readers to: “embrace privation with grace and gusto.”

Yes, times are tight. Yes, food is expensive. However, “necessity is the mother of invention” and it was necessity that grabbed culinary creativity by the horns to show housewives in the 1940s how to make chocolate cakes without flour, turn bruised bananas into bread and feed hungry teenagers with lashings of pasta, canned tuna, garden peas and cream sauce.

It’s the humble art of taking something inexpensive and turning it into something magnificent, and you don’t have to be a master chef to figure it out; you just need patience, some optimism and the desire to eat well on a budget.

Pets are welcome at the market.

Sausages or hamburgers cooked slowly in a little red wine and beef broth served over mashed potatoes will bring tears to your eyes. If you’re vegetarian, tomato basil soup or a pot of ratatouille will do wonders for your soul. Then there’s the dependable potato. When it’s transformed into Potatoes Dauphinoise or PEI Potato Pie, you will think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

On our way out of the market we stopped to listen to musician J.D. Miner. My nephew asks if he can take his picture.

“Will I be on the cover of the Rolling Stone?” he asks.

I cannot believe my ears.

With a great afternoon under our belt, pictures of happy vendors and a bag full of green tomatoes, I realize I’ve skipped delivery fees and convenience for a satisfying, inexpensive day with my family.

Limes $15, burrata $10, green tomatoes, $4, samples: free, great chats with vendors: free, time spent with my nephew, free, listening to the music of Dr. Hook all the way home: Absolutely priceless.

For more information on visiting Farmers Markets go to: Markets – The BC Farmers’ Market Trail (

Fried Green Tomato Ingredients

4 firm medium large green tomatoes. It doesn’t really matter what size they are to be honest, but the bigger slices fill up the sandwiches really nice, you’ll also need a handful of basil leaves, some salad greens, microgreens and reduced balsamic to garnish.

1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup corn meal, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tbsp. smoked paprika or Cajun spice, 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 quart vegetable oil for frying.

Remoulade Sauce

2/3 cup Hellman’s mayo, 2 tbsp. relish or a small dill pickle diced, 1 tsp. capers, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. mustard, 1 dash hot sauce, pinch of salt, 1 tsp. each of parsley and tarragon if you like. Mix up and refrigerate until serving time!

Show Time

Get out 2 plates. On one plate add the flour, on second plate add the corn meal, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, smoked paprika or Cajun spice and combine. Add eggs and milk to a bowl and whisk.

Slice the green tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices. Dredge the tomato slice first in flour, then dip into the egg and milk mixture, then dip into corn meal bread crumb mixture and shake off excess, set aside until ready to deep fry. Repeat this process until all the tomato slices are coated.

Fill up a large pan with 1/2 to 1 inch of vegetable oil. If you have a small pan, you will only need 1/2 an inch of oil. Heat oil up on a medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble gently, add half of the tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes or until nicely browned. You can then flip over the tomato and continue frying until nice and brown. Once they are done, take out with a metal spatula and drain on a paper towel.

For a Fried Green Tomato Caprese Sandwich, smear toasted bread with burrata, top with hot fried green tomato, basil and finish with microgreens and reduced balsamic.

For Fried Green BLT’s, smear toasted bread with remoulade sauce, top with hot fried green tomato, bacon, lettuce, microgreens and reduced balsamic. Enjoy!

For more of Tara’s recipes, click here.

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