You want to get dinner on the table, fast! The only problem is, you don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to rely on canned, instant or frozen solutions. Blogger Robyn Stone has you covered, with her new collection of recipes designed to feed everyone in the house healthfully (in under an hour). This oven-fried green tomato caprese stacks are a crisp, tangy and satisfying seasonal treat you’ll want to master tonight.
In early summer, before the tomatoes show even a speck of pink, you’ll find me in the garden picking them. I swear I can still hear my daddy lecturing me for picking so many before they had a chance to ripen. He’d stop by our little house, as he did most afternoons, and, with a hint of laughter in his voice, say, “You’ll never even have enough tomatoes for a sandwich if you keep picking them the minute the plant starts blooming.” But heavens, they sure do shine in this dish. Lighter and so much easier than traditional deep-fried green tomatoes, these still offer that familiar crunch when you take a bite. They’re perfect as an appetizer when you have company, but I also love them as a weeknight side dish with supper.
If you want to skip the stacking, you can easily turn these ingredients into a lush and satisfying salad. Arrange two cups mixed salad greens in a bowl, then add ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes, the fried green tomatoes, mozzarella slices, and torn basil. Top with balsamic vinegar (instead of the reduction) and olive oil.
- oil mister or cooking spray
- 4 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 12 whole basil leaves
Balsamic Reduction (makes 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
For the reduction
In a small nonreactive saucepan set over low heat, bring the vinegar to a simmer. Let simmer until the vinegar reduces by more than half and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. The reduction will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
For the caprese
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (to catch drippings) and place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the rack with oil. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels.
Place the tomato slices on the baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cover the tomatoes with additional paper towels and pat dry.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper. Working in batches, dip the tomato slices into the buttermilk mixture and then into the cornmeal mixture, making sure that both sides and the edges are well coated.
In a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until it begins to shimmer, about 1 minute. Cook the tomatoes until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to brown the other side, 1 more minute. Transfer to the prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Bake until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
Assemble stacks by placing one tomato slice on a plate. Top with a slice of mozzarella and then a basil leaf. Repeat with another tomato slice, piece of mozzarella, and basil leaf, and top with a final tomato slice. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve.