Crunchy, well-seasoned green tomatoes layered between creamy slices of fresh mozzarella is a surprising alternative to the popular caprese salad made with ripe red tomatoes. Any green tomato can be used for this dish, as all green tomatoes, regardless of variety, are firm enough to fry.
Caprese Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) cornmeal
- 1/2 cup (1 oz./60 g) fresh bread crumbs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp. sweet paprika
- 4 medium to large green (unripe) tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) slices
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) thick
- 1 cup (1 oz./30 g) fresh basil leaves, torn in half if large
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1. Pour vegetable oil into a large frying pan to a depth of 1/2 inch (12 mm) and heat over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F (190°C) on a deep-frying thermometer, or until it sizzles when a few bread crumbs are dropped in. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
2. Preheat an oven to 275°F (135°C).
3. Spread the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. In a second shallow bowl, stir together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and the paprika. Dredge a tomato slice in the flour, shaking off the excess; then dip into the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off; and finally dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Gently slip the tomato into the hot oil. Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded. Fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining tomatoes.
4. Transfer the tomatoes to a platter. Insert the cheese slices and basil between the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more vibrant and versatile salads for every season in our
cookbook Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan.