Crispy and delicious, these fried tomatoes are a refreshing light meal when juicy, colorful tomatoes are at their peak of sweetness. Prepared with a combination of traditional breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese for added crunch and savory flavor, my fried tomatoes are then layered with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves, and enjoyed with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil on the side!
Crispy Fried Tomatoes, Caprese-Style
For a fresh produce lover such as myself, one of my favorite things about the warm, sunny months is the abundance of big, beautiful tomatoes.
There's nothing quite like slicing into a fresh heirloom tomato, super juicy and marvelously sweet, sprinkling over a little salt and pepper, then adding it into a salad, or layering it into a sandwich, or enjoying it on a piece of garlic-rubbed toast.
Mmm, mmm... So simple, yet so satisfying and delicious!
But if I'm looking to create more of a light meal out of fresh tomato slices, or longing to enjoy them prepared in a slightly more unique and composed way, then I love to prepare my mouthwatering fried tomatoes recipe for a bit of a delicious indulgence...
For my recipe here, fresh tomato slices are lightly dipped into a combination of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, then quickly shallow fried until crispy and golden.
Then, I layer the fried tomato slices with cool and creamy slices of mozzarella cheese and vibrant basil leaves for wonderfully complex flavor, similar to that of a tasty Caprese salad.
I even love to drizzle a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar onto the plate next to my tomatoes for a bright, sweet note.
These fried tomatoes are perfect as a light, bistro-style offering, and are a terrific way to enjoy the bounty of fresh tomatoes during the summer months, with a bit of an elegant and extra flavorful twist!
My Recipe for Bright and Flavorful Fried Tomatoes
When tomatoes are at their peak of sweetness, they're terrific candidates to be lightly coated and shallow fried until golden and crispy on the outside, with a sweet, juicy flavor on the inside.
There's both a warm and cool quality to preparing tomatoes in this way, which I love, and fantastic texture.
While green tomatoes are most commonly used for frying, one can use any type of fresh, firm tomato for a preparation such as this.
I happen to really love organic, multi-colored heirloom tomatoes, so I'm opting for red and yellow heirloom tomatoes for my fried tomatoes recipe here. I find that these are nice and big, and allow for slightly thicker slices, perfect for frying.
And while fried tomato slices are quite delicious enough just as they are, fresh out of the oil, I love to add a bit more zip and some bright, sweet notes, creating a whole ensemble of vibrant flavors.
Since I'm a big fan of Caprese salad, I like to create small stacks with my fried tomatoes by layering them with fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese and fragrant basil leaves for a complex, wonderfully earthy bite in every forkful!
Here's a sneak peek at my fried tomatoes recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I season and dredge my tomato slices with flour, whisked eggs, along with a combination of breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.
- Next, I shallow fry each coated tomato slice for a couple of minutes per side just until golden-brown, then remove and allow them to drain on paper towels for a moment.
- Then, I assemble my fried tomatoes in stacks of threes for presentation, mozzarella and basil in-between each slice. And then I serve them with olive oil and balsamic drizzled on the plate for dipping.
by Ingrid Beer
These crispy fried tomatoes are layered with cool mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves for a bright, flavorful, Caprese-style twist!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 298 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes
- 4 medium heirloom tomatoes (preferably 2 red and 2 gold, but any one color is fine)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- Pinch black pepper
- Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (ball shape), sliced into 8 (¼” thick) slices, drained on paper towel
- 24 fresh basil leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Slice a little bit off of the top and bottom of each tomato to create a flat surface. Next, slice each tomato into 3 slices (about ¼ inch to ½ inch thick), making a total of 12 tomato slices. (You can reserve any leftover tomato for other use).
- Lay the 12 tomato 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.
- To set up your dredging station, add the flour to a large plate or large bowl, and add a generous pinch of salt, mixing to combine. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, crack the eggs and whisk. Set aside.
- In a third bowl, add the parmesan, the seasoned breadcrumbs, the panko breadcrumbs, a generous pinch of salt, the Italian seasoning, paprika, granulated garlic, and black pepper, and mix to combine. Set aside.
- To dredge the tomatoes, take each slice and dredge in the flour, then the egg, and finally the parmesan/breadcrumb mixture. Place the slices onto a clean plate to hold as you dredge the remaining slices.
- Once all tomato slices are dredged, add enough of the peanut or vegetable oil to a large, non-stick pan to cover the bottom, for shallow frying. 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 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and crispy.
- Remove the slices from the oil and place onto paper towels to drain, sprinkling with a little extra salt while still hot, if desired. Repeat the process again with the next batch, and once all the tomato slices are fried, allow them to cool just a little bit until they can be handled.
- To assemble the fried tomatoes, add one fried tomato slice to the center of each plate. Next, add a slice of the fresh mozzarella over 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 (you can alternate the colors for pretty presentation).
- To serve the fried tomatoes, 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 center of olive oil of each plate, creating a little dressing to dip each bite into.
Tips & Tidbits for my Fried Tomatoes recipe:
- Colorful, heirloom tomatoes, or your favorite variety: When it comes to recipes like this, I'm a huge fan of incorporating multi-colored tomatoes, so I'm using a couple of yellow and a couple of red tomatoes (or other heirloom hues) for this presentation. However, feel free to use any large, firm tomatoes of your choosing (you can totally stick to all red tomatoes), just make sure they're flavorful!
- Fresh mozzarella, or whole milk mozzarella: While the flavor and creamy texture of fresh mozzarella is delicious for this recipe, take care to avoid the excess moisture or liquid (from the brine) by making sure that you drain the fresh mozzarella slices very well on a paper towel. You can also substitute a ball of whole milk mozzarella (no brine), and slice it yourself.
- Fresh is best, but you can reheat fried tomatoes: Any leftover fried tomato slices that have not been used can be reheated in a toaster oven to refresh them a bit. Crank up the heat to 400°, line the baking tray with foil, and place the fried tomato slices in a single layer on the tray, baking them just until re-crisped on the outside.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!