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Cooking with fresh tomatoes on Coast Live

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 12:01:12-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Tomatoes are coming in like crazy for those who have fruit and vegetable gardens, and it can get a little overwhelming finding ways to incorporate them into meals. Luckily, Chef Jacqui Renager is here to show us how to make a Caprese Salad and Fried Green Tomatoes using ingredients fresh from the garden.

Caprese Salad
1 ½ cups fresh tomatoes, (cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise)
1 cup mozzarella pearls
½ cup chiffonade basil leaves
1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp course black pepper
¼ cup olive oil to drizzle
Balsamic glaze to drizzle

Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Plate salad and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Fried Green Tomatoes
2 Garden Green Tomatoes, cut ¼ inch thick
2 tsp salt (divided), 2 tsp pepper (divided), 1 tsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp Italian seasoning
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping
Peanut, vegetable, or canola oil for frying

Lay tomatoes on a paper towel lined cooling rack over a sheet pan. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp sugar. – let drain 15 minutes

Mix your breading in a medium bowl – add bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Pour oil into a saute pan so it comes half way up the sides of the pan. Heat on medium high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.

Set up your breading station.
Bowl one – all purpose flour
Bowl two – mix the egg and buttermilk
Bowl three – your breading (panko mixture)

Dip each tomato in the flour, then egg mixture, then breading. Drop into the hot oil and fry for about 3 ½ minutes per side. Drain on paper towel.
Serve hot with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.