With golden red sheen
Juicy, sweet and tangy circles
Sea salt sprinkled over clings
Dipped and dredged in crispy crumbs
Then into sizzling, spattering, golden oil
Savory circles now wait for mouth
Vibrant, green leaves lie hidden between
Soft, creamy white rounds
Of luscious cheese
Summer’s dreams displayed
On a cool, white plate
Beckon for me
To gladly partake
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Crispy, Fried Heirloom Tomatoes Caprese Style
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4 medium heirloom tomatoes (preferably 2 red and 2 gold, but any one color is fine)
½ teaspoon salt, plus a couple of generous pinches, divided use
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
• Pinch black pepper
• Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
8 ounces fresh mozzarella (ball shape), sliced into 8 slices (about ¼” thick)
24 fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
-Slice the top and bottom off of each tomato to create a flat surface; next, slice each tomato into 3, ¼”- ½” circles (you can reserve any left over tomato for other use, if desired) making a total of 12 slices of tomato; lay the 12 slices onto a paper towel and gently dab to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes, and sprinkle each side of the slices with generous pinches of salt; prepare the dredging station.
-Add the flour to a large plate or large bowl, and add a ¼ teaspoon of the salt; mix to combine and set aside.
-In another large bowl, add the eggs and whisk; set aside.
-In another large bowl, add the Parmesan, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and all of the other remaining ingredients through the black pepper, mix well and set aside.
-To dredge the tomatoes, take each slice and dredge in the flour, then the egg, and finally the Parmesan breadcrumbs; place onto a clean plate to hold as you dredge each tomato slice; once all tomato slices are dredged, add enough of the peanut or vegetable oil to a large, non-stick pan to cover the bottom, or enough to shallow fry; set the pan over medium-high heat, and once the oil is very hot, work in batches by adding about half of the tomato slices (about 6) into the oil, and frying for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and crispy; remove the slices from the oil and place onto paper towels to drain; sprinkle with a little extra salt while still hot, if desired; repeat the process again with the next batch; once all tomato slices are fried, allow to cool just a little bit until they can be handled.
-Add one fried tomato slice to the center of each plate; next, add a slice of the fresh mozzarella on top, and then 3 fresh basil leaves over the mozzarella; repeat the process again by adding another fried tomato slice, then a slice of fresh mozzarella and 3 fresh basil leaves, finishing off with a fried tomato slice (*alternate the colors so that each person has either 2 red and 1 gold slices of tomato, or 2 gold and 1 red slices.); to finish the dish, drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil onto each plate next to the tomato stacks, and 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar right into the oil of each plate, creating a little dressing to dip each bite into.