The following recipe and photography was provided by recipe developer and food photographer, Ashley Durand of Plate & Pen.
Fried green tomatoes are definitely a thing in the South. It’s not just Louisiana that has a love affair for these sassy greens, but mostly all of the South. I didn’t like tomatoes at all until a few years ago. The texture was entirely too slimy to me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them.
Now that I pretty much eat everything, I love tomatoes! I especially love fried green tomatoes. What better way to celebrate these now in-season produce than by making Caprese crostinis?
What makes this dish extra special is my garlic herb buttercream. I promise you’ll want to spread it on everything, but save some room for that balsamic glaze. It’s so decadent and rich that you’ll want that too!
Fried Green Tomato Caprese Crostinis
For the Balsamic Glaze
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Garlic Herb Butter Cream Spread
- 1 stalk of celery, halved
- 2 green onion stalks, trimmed
- 1 heaping tsp. minced garlic
- 12 oz. whipped cream cheese
- 1 stick of softened, unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
- 1 or 2 basil leaves (Just use 1 if it’s really large.)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. crushed black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
For the Crostini
- 4-10 slices of fresh Italian bread (mine came as a loaf, pre-sliced)
- Spreadable butter and olive oil
- Sliced mozzarella (from mozzarella log or ball)
- Large basil leaves for each bread slice
- Garlic Herb Butter Cream Spread (see above for recipe)
- Heirloom tomato, sliced thin for each bread slice
- Baby Tomz Tomatoes
For the Fried Green Tomatoes
- 1/2 – 1 cup all purpose flour for coating
- 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 -2 eggs, beaten
- 1 -1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- Canola oil
- Place all garlic herb buttercream ingredients in the food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, making sure the celery and green onion are minced leaving no large chunks. Set aside for final assembly.
- Set oven to 375°F. Coat your bread slices with spreadable butter and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and brush to coat the slice. Once the oven is heated, place bread in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes until golden on the edges.
- While the bread is cooking, set your balsamic glaze ingredients in a saucepan on medium – medium-low heat and whisk through its cooking time, usually 25 minutes. (This works better with 2 people, so if you can grab a helper. It’s best that someone watches the glaze while you tend to the fried green tomatoes.)
- Fill a large cast-iron skillet with about an inch of canola oil and set on medium-high heat until ready to fry. Turn the heat down to medium when frying.
- Set out 3 bowls. In the first bowl, put the all purpose flour, cayenne, black pepper and salt. In the second bowl, add 1-2 beaten eggs, depending on how many green tomatoes you are frying. The third bowl will hold the panko bread crumbs for the final coating. Spray the green tomato slices with vegetable spray so that the flour can stick to something before you dip in the 2 remaining bowls. When the oil is ripping in the cast-iron skillet, you’ll know the skillet is ready.
- Dip the tomatoes in bowls 1, 2 and 3 to coat and slowly add the battered tomatoes, 4 at a time, to the hot oil. Fry on each side for about a minute. You can take them out when they turn a pretty golden brown but are not too dark.
- Remove the hot tomatoes from the pan and place paper towel-lined tray or plate to soak up the extra grease.
- To assemble the crostinis, spread the garlic herb cream onto the bread slices. Next, add 1 large basil leaf followed by 2 slices of mozzarella, overlapping with a slice of an heirloom tomato. Finish by topping with the golden fried green tomato. You can use the balsamic glaze, but I recommend drizzling it on right before you eat it. (The glaze tends to get super thick after it sits for a while, so if it’s ready before everything else, keep it on a very low heat and stir occasionally.)
- Add the baby tomato bites into the sides of the garlic buttercream for each crostini. Enjoy!