Southern Fried Green Tomato Caprese is a mouth-watering appetizer combining a traditional Caprese salad with southern cornmeal-fried green tomatoes.
Every year since we met, Jackie and I plant a small garden. This year was no exception. But to be honest, we haven’t tended to it as much as we should. Vegetables have come and gone, but the forestation had grown wild and become a bit unmanageable. I had little faith that our bounty would be as fruitful as it had in years past. Then one day, as if touched by the gods, little green tomatoes mysteriously appeared everywhere.
As we waited patiently for our precious green tomatoes to turn red, I came up with a plan. My dad always loved fried green tomatoes. Although they were never my favorite, I suddenly became determined to create a dish featuring that southern staple that I actually wanted to eat. Behold: Fried Green Tomato Caprese.
I have always loved a fresh caprese salad, but this takes the idea one step further. We combined beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market with a creamy, fresh mozzarella, and a basil pesto. The crunchy tartness of the fried green tomatoes tied the flavors all together in a delicious, mouth-watering stack. The warm tomato slightly melts the cheese, and the creamy pesto and crunch of cornmeal combine perfectly in your mouth. We used purple basil placed in between the layers to help make the colors pop. As we started to prepare this dish, Jackie and I could not decide on just how to plate it. Is it elegant or rustic? We decided that it was a combination of the two. It could be an elegant appetizer or just as easily served as a backyard barbecue side dish. Southern Fried Green Tomato Caprese is a creation that can be enjoyed by both the sophisticated as well as the casually refined palate. Thank you Garden Gods.
- 2 medium green tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
- 2 medium red tomatoes (we used heirloom)
- 1 C yellow corn meal
- ½ C flour
- 1 egg
- Purple basil leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C canola oil
- For the Pesto:
- 1 C fresh Basil leaves
- 1 garlic cloves
- ¼ C parmesan cheese
- ½ C olive oil
- To make pesto:
- Place basil, garlic clove and parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend till finely chopped.
- Slowly pour oil into mixture until well combined. Set aside.
- To make fried green tomatoes:
- Slice tomatoes ¼" thick
- Set up three well breading stations.
- Crack one egg in bowl and mix with 1 tbsp water.
- Place flour on plate
- Place corn meal on plate and mix with garlic powder, pepper and salt.
- Place oil in skillet and heat to medium high
- Place tomatoes in flour, then dip into egg mixture, then coat in cornmeal and place in frying pan. Cook until golden brown, then turn and cook until brown on each side (about 2 minutes each side)
- Remove and drain on paper towel.
- To assemble:
- Place green tomato on plate and top with slice of mozzarella cheese and then with a few leaves of purple basil.
- Add some pesto and slice of red tomato.
- Repeat layer and top with more pesto.