May 17 2010

Fresh-Picked & Fried

Published by at 10:18 pm under Brunch,Dinner,Lunch,Starters

My assistant and I were lucky enough to spend the majority of the past week with his mom in Miami, where it’s perpetually 80 degrees, sunny and all-around beach worthy. And while the produce we get in Northern California is hard to top, Florida does a pretty good job of competing — and not just when it comes to oranges.

My assistant’s mom Sharon was house- and dog-sitting for a couple of out-of-town neighbors, who entrusted her to water their plants while they were away. The major perk of that duty was that she was allowed to snag a few ripe, beautifully green and tart tomatoes from their garden, which we sliced up back in her kitchen for dinner.

The following recipe — a fried green tomato and goat cheese salad — is inspired by one at Julep restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi. They make a mean fried green tomato napoleon with crabmeat and sinful amounts of butter. My version is a lighter one (if fried foods can even be considered light?) but it easily did the trick. In fact, we ate it alongside a more complex and expensive pasta dish, but the salad was clearly the stand-out.

Fried Green Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients (Makes 4 side salads):

4 medium green tomatoes

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola would work; so would olive oil in a pinch)

4 cups mixed greens

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. olive oil

Pinch each of salt and pepper

4 oz. goat cheese

Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Whisk eggs in a small bowl, and set aside. On a large plate or bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika.

Cover tomato slices in egg mixture on both sides, then transfer to flour mixture. Cover with flour mixture on both sides.

Heat oil in large skillet on high heat. When it begins to bubble, add in tomatoes, making sure there is plenty of room so that tomatoes don’t overlap. Let tomatoes fry for about 1 minute or until a crust forms, then flip over and fry for another minute on the other side.

Remove tomatoes from oil and place on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb excess oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over mixed greens and toss in a large bowl so that dressing is well-distributed. Divide greens among four plates, and top each plate with tomato slices (about four per plate, depending on the size of the tomatoes). Crumble goat cheese on top.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Fresh-Picked & Fried”

  1. Vicki Snowon 18 Jul 2010 at 4:15 am

    I think this sounds wonderful. I love green tomatoes. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Livon 19 Jul 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Wonderful! Let me know how it goes 🙂