Kardea Brown, a contemporary Southern cook and host of both Food Network’s Delicious Miss Brown and The Great Soul Food Cook-Off, is known for sharing her culture with viewers through her mouth-watering recipes.

Brown specifically incorporates her Gullah heritage into her food which pay homage to the recipes her grandmother and mother passed down to her. The Gullah Geechee people are African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia who have preserved their cultural rituals as direct descendants of enslaved West Africans who were brought to the U.S. in the 1700s. Brown notes that Gullah Geechee food traditions was a diet rich in seafood, vegetables, fruits, and rice given their location on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, her dishes typically fuse West African herbs, spices, and grains with traditional Southern cooking, including unexpectedly satisfying plant-based dishes.

This fall, Brown is releasing her first cookbook The Way Home, available for pre-order here, which is already the #1 New Release on Amazon’s “Southern U.S. Cooking, Food and Wine” category. The book will be a collection of 100+ recipes, family anecdotes, memories, and tips that bring a taste of the Lowcountry home.

Exclusively for Ebony, Brown shares one of her favorite plant-based recipes from the new book with us. She says, "Fried green tomatoes are the perfect appetizer. It’s a light, fun dish to make with the family, and it also has the perfect balance of tang and crunch!"

Fried Green Tomatoes by Kardea Brown

Image: courtesy of Sully Sullivan


Serves 4


1 cup all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons Miss Brown’s House Seasoning, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 cup yellow cornmeal

Canola oil, for frying

3 green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

For the country sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon Miss Brown’s House Seasoning (page •••)

Miss Brown’s House Seasoning – Stir all ingredients together:

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1/4 cup sweet paprika

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a shallow pie plate or baking dish, stir together the flour and 1 teaspoon of the House Seasoning. 
  2. In a separate baking dish, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. 
  3. In a third baking dish, stir together the cornmeal and the remaining 2 teaspoons of House Seasoning.
  4. In a large cast-iron skillet, pour 1 inch of the oil and heat to 375°F over medium-high heat.
  5. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge one tomato slice in the flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess. Dip in the egg wash, letting any excess drip off. Coat in the cornmeal mixture and then place on a plate. 
  6. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices. Working in batches, fry the tomatoes until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a wire rack set in a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt while still hot. Serve warm with Country Sauce.

To make the country sauce:

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and House Seasoning.