Content sponsored by #denigris1889
Two things before we begin.
One, let me just say that this recipe isn’t technically “fried.” It’s baked.
Secondly, you technically don’t have to only use green tomatoes. We all know that many grocery stores stock tomatoes that are unripe in the inside – yet are shiny red on the outside. They are tough and not the tastiest. Those. Those are the ones that are perfect for a recipe such as this because it will hold up to the heat and the heat will coax out tastiness.
One tip to make an unripe or green tomato tastier is adding a little sweetness to it. I am smitten with the De Nigris balsamic vinegar glaze because it is 100% natural without any sweetener added to it like so many of them out there (seriously, check the ingredient lists). This glaze is super-thick with 61% cooked grape must. What does that mean, you ask? It means the concentration of slowly cooked aged balsamic vinegar is thick, delicious, and wonderful. Perfect for desserts or fruit. That is why it works so harmoniously with this “fried” green tomato caprese salad.
Yes, the tomatoes are pushing out the last of their summer fruits at my in-laws garden. Somehow we let the whole summer go by without frying them, although my father-in-law certainly tried his best, sending us home with the green beauties quite often. Somehow they always turned to red ripeness before I could indulge. Was I doing it on purpose, I wondered? They are usually a little too tart for my taste buds. Perhaps I hesitated too long.
Not this time.
This time I spied extra basil leaves and leftover mozzarella slices and an idea started forming. What if I made a fried green tomato caprese salad? It is hard to mess with the perfection of a caprese salad and I already knew that you could roast it addition to eating it raw. Why not add a fried rendition?
So here you have it. A new twist on a caprese. Somehow the combination of fried tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar glaze turns it to wow.
Try it and see for yourself.
FRIED GREEN TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD
Serves 4 as a side dish or 8 as an appetizer stack
4 small green tomatoes or 2 large
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup panko bread crumbs (gluten-free works great)
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 small egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose or gluten all-purpose flour
8 slices of mozzarella cheese
4-6 basil leaves
Cut thick slices of tomatoes and set on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
Preheat oven to Bake 400 degrees.
Coat small sheet pan with olive oil and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix panko, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
In an additional small bow, whisk egg.
In third bowl, add all-purpose flour.
Now, you’re ready to get started. Place your oiled sheet pan close by to your three bowls and follow this method: Take a tomato, coat both sides with flour, then egg, then panko mixture, and place in sheet pan. Continue until all tomatoes are completed.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes, flipping over once halfway at 10 minutes.
You are ready for the presentation, the best part. Stack tomato, mozzarella slice, tomato, mozzarella slice, and tomato.
Artfully drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Garnish with basil leaves.
Garnish with sprinkle black pepper and sea salt.