1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
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½ pound thick cut bacon
½ cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for frying
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs (panko if you have them)
4-6 green tomatoes (1 per person)
1 tub (1.25 ounces) microgreens (or your favorite greens)
For the Tomato Bacon Aioli: Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice about 20 cherry tomatoes in half and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Drizzle lightly with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes and set out to cool.
While the tomatoes roast, chop the bacon into thick pieces and cook in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Reserve bacon grease in pan.
Reserve 6 or 7 roasted tomato halves and a quarter of the bacon for toppings and add the rest to a food processor along with the mayonnaise and a bit of salt and pepper. Begin pulsing until the tomatoes and bacon are pureed. Slowly add the remaining olive oil until the mixture has a smooth creamy consistency.
For the Fried Green Tomatoes: In the same pan you fried the bacon, add 1 cup olive oil and warm over medium high heat.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Put the flour in one small bowl and the bread crumbs in another. Slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch thick slices. Dip in the buttermilk then dredge in the flour, dip it back into the buttermilk and then into the bread crumbs.
Fry the tomatoes in batches of three or four at a time until crispy, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Cool on a paper towel lined plate.
Chop the reserved tomato halves, mix with the reserved bacon and microgreens to make a mini salad. Serve three to four fried green tomato slices per person topped with the micro-green salad and drizzled with the aioli.
Serves four to six.
Jamie Andrade, Elk Grove Village