Fried Green Tomato and Ripe Red Tomato Salad w/ Goat Cheese
I grew up eating fried green tomatoes and loving them. I created this salad to take advantage of the unique, tart flavor and wonderful cornmeal crunch of these delicate tomatoes and lightened it with juicy ripe tomatoes.\
SERVES 6 TO 8
2 large ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Canola oil for frying (about 1/2 cup)
4 large green tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 pint grape or small heirloom tomatoes (such as Sungolds or Sweet 100’s), halved lengthwise
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Preheat the oven to 200°F. 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 the flour, cornmeal, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 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°F, 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, about 2 minutes. Turn and fry the other side to golden brown. Use tongs or a slotted spatula 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 tomato slices. Scatter the small tomatoes over the slices and 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: It’s best if you let the green tomatoes get nice and crispy before you turn them and that you turn them only once. If you flip them any more, the coating will fall off