Stick with me friends, I know this recipe is going to be a little…different. But I promise if you will just hear me out, fried green tomato Caprese salad will become your next go-to salad. And don’t worry too much about the “fried tomato” part of the salad. Anytime you add the word “salad” to a dish, it automatically makes it healthy. Trust me.
There is something so special to me about summertime tomatoes. In fact, every year I very unsuccessfully try to grow several summer veggies, including tomatoes. A fresh, vine-ripened, summertime tomato with just a little salt and pepper is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Add in the tanginess of a green tomato, bread it, fry it up, top it with cheese, and smother it in homemade ranch and I’m pretty sure they are serving this fried green tomato Caprese salad in heaven.
When Lane and I first started dating he, being from Illinois, had never eaten a fried green tomato before. So, while we were down in Canton, Texas for their First Monday bazaar we got some. He was hooked right away. And I guarantee you will be too. Now, I will say that even down here in Texas I have a hard time finding green tomatoes in the conventional grocery stores. I usually have to venture out to a farmer’s market or a local farm to get the green tomatoes to make this fried green tomato Caprese salad. But it is worth the extra driving (plus you get to support local!).
Now, I want to be straight with you. This fried green tomato Caprese salad does take a little more work than most of my recipes. But I promise it is worth it. Really, the hardest part is frying up the tomatoes. Which TBH, isn’t all that hard, its just time consuming. So grab yourself a summer cocktail, turn on your favorite country songs (you have to listen to country music when you’re frying up green tomatoes) and get ready for the best salad you’ve ever eaten!
Some recipe notes for the fried green tomato Caprese salad:
- You can (and should) make the dressing ahead of time. It will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, so definitely make it up to 1 day ahead.
- You can DIY your own buttermilk with 1 cup of milk and 1 T of lemon juice or white vinegar – stir together and let it sit for 5 minutes. I have done this before for recipes, but once I started using real buttermilk I noticed a huge difference in my food. There is just something that can’t be replicated that makes real buttermilk the best. If you’re worried about buying a whole jug just for this recipe, have no fear. Buttermilk waffles are coming to the blog soon!
- The salad should be served and devoured immediately. Fried green tomatoes do not keep well.
- If you don’t have a cup of bacon grease on hand then this is the perfect excuse for you to fry up some bacon! Or, you know, you could always use EVOO or vegetable oil. If you have even a little bacon grease, I would definitely add it in to give a little more flavor.
- Definitely make sure you use panko breadcrumbs as part of the breading. The best part of a fried green tomato is the crispy crust and once these tomatoes get combined with mozzarella and covered in a buttermilk basil drizzle the crispiness can die. Panko breadcrumbs help make sure they stay perfectly and deliciously crisp!
Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing
Buttermilk Basil Dressing
- 1/4 c mayonnaise
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 t dijon mustard
- 1 t EVOO
- 1 T fresh basil OR 1 1/2 t of dried basil
- 1/2 t white pepper
- 1 t salt
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 1 c bacon grease OR EVOO OR vegetable oil
- 4 green tomatoes sliced
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 c cornmeal
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 12 to 14 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
To Make the Buttermilk Basil Dressing
- In a large jar with a lid combine all the ingredients for the buttermilk dressing. Shake vigorously to combine and set aside or store in fridge for up to 5 days. Dressing is best if it is made at least 1 hour ahead of time.
To Make the Fried Green Tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 275. Line a baking pan with paper towels and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- While the oil is heating place the buttermilk in a shallow dish. Place the eggs in a separate shallow dish and the flour in another shallow dish. In a fourth shallow dish combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Dip a tomato slice in the buttermilk, then coat well with the flour. Then, dip the tomato slice in the beaten egg and then coat well with the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on wax or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining tomato slices.
- Working in batches so you don't decrease the temperature of the oil too much, fry the green tomato slices (I found that about 4 to 5 slices worked best for my size skillet). Fry each slice about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown.
- Once tomato slices are fried, move to the baking pan lined with paper towels and keep them warm in the preheated oven. Fry remaining tomato slices until they are all cooked.
- Set out four plates. Place a tomato slice on each one. Top each tomato slice with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf. Repeat with reamaining tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Give your buttermilk basil dressing a quick shake to mix up any ingredients that may have settled. Drizzle over the green tomato stacks. Serve and enjoy!
Welcome to your new obsession!
If you make this fried green tomato Caprese salad…
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