Friday, August 28, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes Over Cherry Tomato Salad

As we mentioned in the Tomato Tasting post, Patty delighted us with this wonderfully fresh tomato salad. The fried green tomatoes resting on the cherries and basil were complimented magnificently by the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and Feta cheese.

It. Was. Dee-vine.

Patty has since told us that the next day she tried substituting other tomatoes for the cherry ones and it was NOT the same. So, it is imperative that cherry tomatoes are used in this salad - no deviation! You don't hear that from us very often, but sometimes rules do need to be followed....

By the way, in case you want your salad to be as divine as the one we had the pleasure of eating on Sunday, we will share the three types of cherry tomatoes Patty used. They were Snow White, Sun Sugar, and Chocolate Cherry. Don't they just sound like a party on a plate?!

Don't wait! Make this salad TODAY before all the juicy, ripe tomatoes are gone!

Fried Green Tomatoes over Cherry Tomato Salad

One Pint Cherry Tomatoes
One Teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more to taste
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
Two Tablespoons Sugar
One Large Egg
1/2 Cup well-shaken Buttermilk
1/2 Cup or so Oil for frying
4 Large Green Tomatoes, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 Ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled ( about one cup)
Sweet Basil Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
8 Fresh Basil Leaves, cut in to strips

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Arrange the ripe tomato slices in one layer on a large platter or on individual plates. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the flour, cornmeal, sugar, one teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.

Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a separate small bowl.

Pour enough oil in a large skillet to fill to 1/4 inch deep and heat over medium-high heat to about 375 degrees, or until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of flour into the skillet.

Dip a green tomato slice in the egg-buttermilk mixture to coat both sides, dredge it in the flour mixture to coat both sides, and place it in the hot oil. Repeat with enough tomato slices to fill the skillet without crowding and fry until the under sides are golden brown. Turn and fry the other side until golden brown. ( Try to only turn the tomatoes once - any more and the coating may fall off.) Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the fried tomato slices to the prepared baking sheet to drain. Place the sheet in the oven while you fry the remaining green tomatoes.

Arrange the fried tomato slices on top of the fresh cherry tomato slices. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and top with the basil strips. Season with additional salt and pepper and add more vinaigrette to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: Patty cut the Fried Green Tomatoes in fourths so they would be easier to serve and eat. Not a bad idea....

Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Juice of One Lime
5 to 7 Fresh Basil Leaves, cut into thin strips
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk the vinegar, lime juice, basil, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until all the oil is incorporated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.
Note: Our local news just did a report on a Tomato Tasting event at a nearby nursery. They tasted many more than nine tomatoes, but they did say that the Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato was the runaway winner among the crowd. As far as Heirloom tomatoes go, the Cherokee Purple, who got Honorable Mention at our "event" was a close second among tasters behind the Mexico Tomato.


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