Monday, October 5, 2015

How does a fried green tomato caprese salad sound right about now?

#denigris1889 Fried green tomato caprese salad (c)nwafoodie

Content sponsored by #denigris1889

Two things before we begin.

 One, let me just say that this recipe isn’t technically “fried.” It’s baked.

Secondly, you technically don’t have to only use green tomatoes. We all know that many grocery stores stock tomatoes that unripe in the inside - yet are shiny red on the outside. They are tough and not the tastiest. Those. Those are the ones that are perfect for a recipe such as this because it will hold up to the heat and the heat will coax out tastiness.

One tip to make an unripe or green tomato tastier is adding a little sweetness to it. I am smitten with the De Nigris balsamic vinegar glaze it because it is 100% natural without any sweetener added to it like so many of them out there (seriously, check the ingredient lists). This glaze is super-thick with 61% cooked grape must. What does that mean, you ask? It means the concentration of slowly cooked aged balsamic vinegar is thick, delicious, and wonderful. Perfect for desserts or fruit. That is why it works so harmoniously with this “fried” green tomato caprese salad.

Yes, the tomatoes are pushing out the last of their summer fruits at my in-laws garden. Somehow we let the whole summer go by without frying tem, although my father-in-law certainly tried his best, sending us home with the green beauties quite often. Somehow they always turned to red ripeness before I could indulge. Was I doing it on purpose, I wondered? They are usually a little too tart for my taste buds. Perhaps I hesitated too long.

Not this time.

This time I spied extra basil leaves and leftover mozzarella slices and an idea started forming. What if I made a fried green tomato caprese salad? It is hard to mess with the perfection of a caprese salad and I already knew that you could roast it addition to eating it raw. Why not add a fried rendition?

So here you have it. A new twist on a caprese. Somehow the combination of fried tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar glaze turns it to wow.


Try it and see for yourself.

#denigris1889 Fried green tomato caprese salad - stacked (c)nwafoodie

Serves 4 as a side dish or 8 as an appetizer stack


4 small green tomatoes or 2 large
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup panko bread crumbs (gluten-free works great)
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 small egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose or gluten all-purpose flour
8 slices of mozzarella cheese
4-6 basil leaves


Cut thick slices of tomatoes and set on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

Preheat oven to Bake 400 degrees.

Coat small sheet pan with olive oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix panko, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

In an additional small bow, whisk egg.

In third bowl, add all-purpose flour. 

Now, you’re ready to get started. Place your oiled sheet pan close by to your three bowls and follow this method: Take a tomato, coat both sides with flour, then egg, then panko mixture, and place in sheet pan. Continue until all tomatoes are completed.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes, flipping over once halfway at 10 minutes.

#denigris1889 Fried green tomato caprese salad - up close (c)nwafoodie

You are ready for the presentation, the best part. Stack tomato, mozzarella slice, tomato, mozzarella slice, and tomato. 

Artfully drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Garnish with basil leaves.

Garnish with sprinkle black pepper and sea salt.

#denigris1889 Fried green tomato caprese salad - product shot (c)nwafoodie

Now THAT is how you tackle a green tomato, my friend.

Happy stacking.

Eat well, my friends.


Monday, September 7, 2015

We all know that the carrot ginger dressing is best part of a sushi house, right?

#denigris1889 carrot ginger dressing - main (c)nwafoodie

Content sponsored by #denigris1889

I know, I know. You may disagree with me and that’s okay. If we dine together, I will just reach over and take over your salad. You cool with that?

You know the carrot ginger dressing that I am talking about right? It’s served on top of crisp and refreshing iceberg lettuce and not much else. For some reason the salad bowls are square and plastic. Perhaps melamine. Decorative is option, depending on the restaurant.

Each bowl is modest. Five bites maybe six. The bright tangerine-colored dressing has a pureed consistency, slightly sweet, and always leaves a great aftertaste. It sneaks up on you. You want more.

I give Dennis a sweet look of “pretty please?”

And just like that, I happily start on my second bowl of salad with that enticing carrot ginger dressing. I am so spoiled.

Last weekend my niece got married and I over-purchased organic carrots from Sam’s Club and yesterday for a friend’s swim party I over-purchased iceberg lettuce. Besides the obvious trend of over-purchasing, I knew exactly what to do with some of the excess… make carrot ginger dressing and make my personal salad bowl as big as possible! And, while I was at it, make sure Dennis had a heaping helping all to himself.

For this recipe I substituted the usual rice vinegar that Japanese sushi houses use for their dressings. Instead, I reached for my handy dandy De Nigris Seasoned Italian White Wine Vinegar original. It has a hint of sweet to it, so no need to add any additional sugar.

This recipe makes about a cup and a half and will keep nicely in the fridge for weeks. Now you have an excuse to indulge any time you want.

#denigris1889 carrot ginger dressing - pint (c)nwafoodie

Serves 6-8 or 1 if you have an intense craving. I’m totally not going to judge you.


1 cup carrots
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 large shallot, sliced
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 head of iceberg lettuce


Place all ingredients in a blender, ninja, or bullet and puree until smooth.

#denigris1889 carrot ginger dressing - pint product shot (c)nwafoodie

Tear iceberg lettuce and place in salad bowls.

#denigris1889 carrot ginger dressing - product shot (c)nwafoodie

Enjoy your salad.

Eat well, my friends.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Five Foodie Finds for Friday, August 21st.

Five Foodie Finds for Friday August 21 2015 (c)nwafoodie

The internet is brimming with goodies that are begging us to pay attention to. Today’s foodie finds are both fun and practical. Is it wrong that I want them all?

Sunnyside Up tray. Cute. We’ve all seen the porcelain egg holders in stores, magazines, and Pinterest photos. This is the first time I have come across a wooden tray to house your homesteader or farmers market beauties. Perfect for the times you are baking and need to bring an egg or two up to room temperature.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ground turkey and cabbage stuffed bell peppers.

#denigris1889 Ground turkey and cabbage stuffed bell peppers - main (c)nwafoodie

Content sponsored by #denigris1889

Have you ever made a particular meal and decided that you and your family like it so much that one day you realize that you are eating it just about every single day?

Day after day.
After day?

Yep, that’s what has been going on over here in the Fultz household. The bell peppers this time of year are so fresh, bright, and vibrant that it is almost as if a gallery light is positioned right on them in the produce section. “Come, come here. Pick us. Pick us.”

And so it goes. Dinner consists of a plethora of stuffed bell peppers lately. They are easy to prepare and then set in the oven for the finishing touch as we go about our summery busyness. It’s like a dear friend or family member… there when we need them.

Oftentimes we think of stuffed bell peppers as a heartier dish filled with ground beef, heavy tomato sauces, rice, or cubed potatoes. I like to make a lighter version during these hot days with ground turkey, sweet Vidalia onions, green cabbage and a shredded  Yukon gold potato.  The cabbage and onions give it a coleslaw feel, so naturally a soft white wine vinegar comes in to play.

Friday, July 24, 2015

That was fun NWA Food Festival, let’s do it again.

Taste of NWA Food Festival - up close roast (c)nwafoodie

How did I forget to share these photos with you?

Perhaps it was simply because I knew the tickets sold out fast and so many were saddened that you weren’t able to attend. I didn’t want to rub it in. Maybe I decided to save it for now so you could visit one of the restaurants from the event this weekend. Regardless, this is what I am going to do the next time this event is announced… I will get out the bullhorn and proclaim “hurry, hurry, hurry – buy your tickets!”

Monday, July 13, 2015

Parmesan-vinaigrette baked spinach chips.

#denigris1889 Parmesan-vinaigrette baked spinach chips – main ©nwafoodie

Content sponsored by #denigris1889

I tried the kale chip thing. I really tried.

I tried the kale smoothie route. It was good if I used a lot of blueberries. Lots.

I tried kale pesto and I gotta’ admit it was pretty rocking. Then again, I use Tuscan kale when I can find it and add lots of olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. A trifecta of perfection.

At the end of the day, spinach always comes back to my heart.

One of my favorite things to do is try to be as resourceful as possible. When my pantry, freezer, refrigerator, or cupboards are stuffed to the brim, it makes me anxious. Too much abundance means that I have to make sure things don’t go to waste. When my space is lean it means I get to creative and resourceful. I find it fun to figure things out based on available ingredients. Are you ever like that? Of course, it helps to make sure your pantry, freezer, refrigerator, and cupboards are stocked with pantry staples. But that is a story for another time.

Yesterday Dennis and I were working outside and it was time for a lunch break. Since it was in the 90s with a heat-index of one-hundred-and-something, it seemed only right to turn on the oven and bake something. Oh, and of course I decided to make soup. Because hot stove + hot oven + hot outside + hot physical labor = refreshing.


Yet, refreshing it surprisingly was.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Gluten Free Cheat Sheet book is a good start for the #gf newbie in your life.

The Gluten Free Cheat Sheet book by April Peveteaux (c)nwafoodie

I’ve been intermittently reading The Gluten Free Cheat Sheet ever since Perigee Books, Penguin Random House sent me a pre-release copy a few weeks ago. This newest book from gluten-free lifestyle blogger, April Peveteaux, hit the stores on Tuesday of this week. While my true intention was to quickly skim-read to get the highlights, I am finding myself taking the time to let it all sink in.

April’s light-hearted yet expert approach is completely engaging. After receiving a celiac diagnosis in 2011, April started her gluten free blog to share her journey, encourage others, and sometimes rant about “the ridiculousness of having a disease that is activated by a sandwich.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with celiac disease?
A gluten sensitivity?
Perhaps you are suspecting a wheat allergy?
Have wanted to invite someone who is gluten-free over for dinner but are not sure what the “do’s and don’ts” are?
Have a co-working or church member that is gluten-free and want ideas?
Practicing a Paleo lifestyle?
Or, maybe you have just discovered that you feel better and have decided to try this gluten-free lifestyle out.

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