Fried Green Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto and Cherry Tomato Relish

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image Fried Green Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto and Cherry Tomato Relish

Fried green tomatoes ore a delicious way to use up unripe tomatoes at the end of the growing season

To make the arugula pesto: In a food processor, grind the pine nuts and walnuts to a fine powder. Add the garlic, olive oil, arugula, lemon juice, and cheese and purée until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the cherry tomato relish: Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Add the cherry tomatoes and mix gently to coat.

Slice off the ends of the green tomatoes and cut each tomato into three 1/2-inch-thick crosswise slices. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, flour, cheese, chipotle powder, paprika, the 1 teaspoon salt, and the 1 teaspoon pepper together. Dip the tomato slices into the buttermilk, then into the panko mixture, patting the mixture onto the tomato slices to make sure it adheres.

In a deep, heavy sauté pan, heat the canola oil to 350°F. Add the green tomatoes and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place 3 tomato slices and a spoonful of relish on each of 6 salad plates and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the pesto

Arugula Pesto

1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon walnuts
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed arugula
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Vella dry Jack cheese or Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cherry Tomato Relish

2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 unripe green heirloom tomatoes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup panko (Japanese breodcrumbs)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Vella dry Jack cheese or Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
4 cups canola oil for frying

Serves 6

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