The following recipe was created in collaboration with Lauren Schulte. To see more of her bites and meals, visit her Instagram @TheBiteSizePantry.
Warm weather has me craving light meals, so I’ve created a summer-inspired twist on a classic BLT sandwich. What is it, you ask? It’s an Air Fried Green Tomato BLT that I think you and your family will gobble up!
If light summer meals are on your list of cravings too, you are going to love the air frying method. It’s creates all of the crisp and crunch of traditional fried food without all of the oil and mess. The best part about cooking with an air fryer is that there’s no oil splash back stinging your hands. On top of that, it’s already hot enough outside, so I would much prefer to air fry inside with air conditioning.
These sandwiches are a delicious summer treat for lunch or dinner, but they do require a bit more work than their traditional BLT sibling. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort for the tasty outcome. The crispy, cornmeal-coated bite of the green tomatoes, along with the subtle heat of my homemade sriracha mayo is a flavor combination like no other. Make these one time and they’ll be a hit all summer.
When prepping the green tomatoes, it’s important to pat them dry and add a hefty amount of salt. This will ensure that the egg and cornbread coating sticks to the entire slice.
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For the Sandwiches
- 4 green tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 4 Heinen’s mini fresh-baked baguettes, sliced long-ways and hollowed out
- 1 head of Great Lake Growers living lettuce, red or green
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill yellow cornmeal
- 1 packet of Italian seasoning
- 16 slices of thick-cut pork bacon or plant-based bacon substitute
For the Sriracha Mayo
- 1 ½ cups mayo
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp. sriracha
- Set the air fryer to 375˚F.
- Depending on your bacon of choice, follow the below instructions for cooking:
- Lightlife Plant-Based Smart Bacon: Place 4-6 slices in the air fryer. Cook for 3-4 minutes at 375˚F for crispy slices. Do not overlap the slices.
- Lightlife Smokey Tempeh Strips: Place 4 strips in the air fryer. Cook for 4-5 minutes at 375˚F. Do not overlap the slices. This type of plant-based bacon doesn’t get as crispy in the air fryer. If you like your bacon a bit more crispy, I recommend cooking it over the stove. Add 4 Tbsp. of olive oil to a non-stick skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the tempeh strips. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
- Pork Bacon: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the bacon slices, ensuring that they do not overlap. Place on the middle rack of a 400˚F oven and cook for 12-15 minutes for a crispy texture, or 10-12 for a chewier texture.
- In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs and set aside. In a separate shallow dish, add the cornmeal and Italian seasoning packet. Mix until well combined.
- Once the bacon is done cooking, set it aside.
- Lay the green tomato slices on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with salt and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Pat them dry with paper towels until almost all of the moisture has been removed.
- Dredge the tomato slices by coating them in the cornmeal mixture, followed by the eggs and then back into the cornmeal.
- Place 4 cornmeal-coated tomato slices into the air fryer and cook at 375˚F for 6-8 minutes, depending on your preference for crunchy texture. The longer the cook time, the crunchier the tomato.
- For the sriracha mayo, add all of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Stir to combined and set aside.
- To toast the bread, set the oven to 375˚F oven, turn it off and place the bread inside for 4-5 minutes.
- Spread a layer of sriracha mayo on both halves of bread. Add the lettuce, followed by the bacon, fried green tomato slices and the second piece of bread.
- Enjoy with a side of kettle-cooked potato chips.