This post contains affiliate links to one of my favorite author’s new books. 

The summer after my sophomore year of college, I waited tables at a trendy casual fine dining restaurant off campus; you know, the kind of place you could wear jeans to while still feeling fancy for ordering things like French fries drizzled with white truffle oil and medium-rare tuna steaks. By far, the biggest perk of the job was getting to sample the chef’s daily specials so I could make my customers’ mouths water as I described the menu items with appropriate, alluring adjectives.

One of my favorite dishes on the menu was fried green tomato caprese salad. The chef layered thick portions of delicate Buffalo mozzarella cheese between slices of Panko-crusted green tomatoes, drizzled balsamic honey glaze on top, and finished the dish with a sprinkle of fragrant chopped basil… yuuuuuum; the perfect blend of tang, sweetness, and crunch. Oh, my heavens. Using my tip money, I would treat myself to plate after a particularly long shift, savoring every luscious bite.

When I spotted green tomatoes on my last trip to the commissary, my mouth started watering the way I always hoped my customers’ would. Without a second thought, I added a package of fresh basil to the cart and swung by the dairy section to pick up a ball of Buffalo mozzarella. Even though I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to recreate one of my all-time favorite appetizers recipes, I knew my kitchen-competent husband would be able to help me. And he did!

Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 green tomatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 large ball Buffalo mozzarella
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. After removing the stem, cut the green tomatoes into thick slices.
  2. Mix the egg and milk in a bowl.
  3. Add 2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs to a second bowl.
  4. Pour 1 cup of flour on a plate.
  5. Dredge the tomato slices in the egg and milk mixture, then in the flour, then back to the egg/milk mix (this will create a sort of magical, edible glue for the Panko so will adhere nicely.
  6. Next, coat them with the breadcrumbs.
  7. Set the breaded tomato slices aside, not touching each other (you can layer them on a sheet pan separated by parchment or foil). It's possible to do all of this ahead of time and refrigerate if you’re having something like a dinner party later. If this is the case, your guests are in for a splendid treat.
  8. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat (if you see smoke, it’s too hot – reduce heat before dropping your tomatoes in). You want enough oil so your tomatoes swim, but are not submerged.
  9. Drop the breaded tomato slices into the hot oil.
  10. Fry roughly two minutes per side.
  11. Remove the fried tomatoes from the oil and set on a paper towel to drain.
  12. Repeat until all of the tomato slices are coated and fried.
  13. Warm ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pan over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and allow to thicken.
  14. Remove glaze from heat when it has reduced down to a syrup (dip in a dinner spoon and see how slow and smooth it runs off).
  15. Cut the Buffalo mozzarella into slices of about the same thickness as the tomatoes.
  16. Arrange the fried tomatoes and mozzarella slices on a large plate, alternating between tomato and cheese.
  17. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar honey glaze over the tomatoes and cheese.
  18. Sprinkle fresh basil on top to garnish.
  19. Enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine and a table full of family and friends.

I’m excited to share this recipe with you. I hope sharing this dish with your loved ones will make you feel fine-dining-fancy at home, no matter what you’re wearing.

After removing the stem, cut the green tomatoes into thick slices.

Mix the egg and milk in a bowl.

Add 2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs to a second bowl.

Pour 1 cup of flour on a plate.

Dredge the tomato slices in the egg and milk mixture, then in the flour, then back to the egg/milk mix (this will create a sort of magical, edible glue for the Panko so will adhere nicely.

Next, coat them with the breadcrumbs.

Set the breaded tomato slices aside, not touching each other (you can layer them on a sheet pan separated by parchment or foil). It’s possible to do all of this ahead of time and refrigerate if you’re having something like a dinner party later. If this is the case, your guests are in for a splendid treat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat (if you see smoke, it’s too hot – reduce heat before dropping your tomatoes in). You want enough oil so your tomatoes swim, but are not submerged.

Drop the breaded tomato slices into the hot oil.

Fry roughly two minutes per side.

Remove the fried tomatoes from the oil and set on a paper towel to drain.

Repeat until all of the tomato slices are coated and fried.

For the balsamic-honey glaze:

Warm ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pan over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and allow to thicken.

Remove glaze from heat when it has reduced down to a syrup (dip in a dinner spoon and see how slow and smooth it runs off).

Cut the Buffalo mozzarella into slices of about the same thickness as the tomatoes.

Arrange the fried tomatoes and mozzarella slices on a large plate, alternating between tomato and cheese.

Drizzle the balsamic vinegar honey glaze over the tomatoes and cheese.

Sprinkle fresh basil on top to garnish.

Enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine and a table full of family and friends.

P.S. I’m on the launch team for Sally Clarkson’s new book, The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith through Feasting, One Meal at a Time. I can’t wait to dig in. Join me!