I can't think of many summer foods I look forward to more than fried green tomatoes and since I've been trying to cook on the lighter side, I decided to apply America's Test Kitchen's baked chicken parmesan technique to fried green tomatoes since it resulted in perfectly crispy breaded chicken when I made their recipe and and also when I applied the technique to mahi mahi in my fish taco recipe.
The green tomato was not part of my CSA produce. I picked it up at the Chattanooga Market. It was very firm, but I didn't think much of that. So once I removed the breaded tomatoes from the oven, they were still very firm. Since this recipe involves browning the bread crumbs in a skillet before coating the tomatoes, next time I will brown the bread crumbs a little less and cook the tomatoes 2 to 5 minutes longer. I cooked the tomatoes for 10 minutes, but I've altered the recipe below to reflect a longer cooking time. I think after a few more minutes, the tomatoes would have been just fine and I'll definitely try this again with a longer cooking time.
The fried green tomatoes were still very tasty despite being firm and Tim and I enjoyed them on a bed of sautéed kale and chopped vidalia onions alongside two aiolis I made by combining basil pesto (see my recipe in linked post) and ghoulash cream with light mayonnaise, respectively. I also topped the finished dish with chopped ripe red tomato.
Recipe: Baked Panko and Romano Breaded Green Tomatoes
Serves 3-4 as an appetizer
1 large green tomato, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices (about 8 large slices)
1.5 c. panko bread crumbs
1 t. olive oil
1/4 c. grated pecorino romano (or other hard italian grating cheese such as parmesan or grana padano)
2/3 c. unbleached flour
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 whole egg, whisked
Cooking Oil Spray
Preheat oven to 450º. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack inside baking sheet.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add the panko bread crumbs and oil and stir to mix evenly. Continue stirring bread crumbs until lightly browned. Pour bread crumbs in a shallow bowl and allow to cool. Mix grated cheese evenly with the bread crumbs.
Spray baking sheet evenly with cooking oil spray. Mix flour evenly with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Working one at a time, coat each tomato slice with flour, then dip in the egg, then coat evenly in the panko/cheese mixture. Lay each tomato slice on baking rack. Once all slices are coated, spray the top sides of the tomatoes evenly with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Serving suggestion: Serve on a bed of sautéed kale and vidalia onions and top with chopped ripe tomatoes. Serve with basil pesto aioli and/or another dip of your preference.