Caprese Salad Stacks with Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes

Summer entertaining season is upon us, and it’s time to wow your crowd! I love when I can start include caprese salad on my menus because it’s simple, fresh and so pretty. I decided to do a spin on the classic caprese by using fried green tomatoes instead of regular and topping the mozzarella with pesto instead of just basil for added flavor.ย 
Serve this as an appetizer or as a light lunch with a simple green salad on the side. Pair with a cold, crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc.

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place flour on a plate. Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a bowl. Combine cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in another bowl. Coat each tomato slice in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Once all the slices are coated, spray the tops of the tomatoes with cooking spray.

3. Bake the tomatoes for 5 minutes, flip (lightly coat with more cooking spray) and cook for 5 minutes longer.

4. Meanwhile, make your pesto in a food processor or blender.

5. Place 8 mozzarella slices on a platter and top each with 1 tomato. Top with another mozzarella slice. Top with pesto and garnish with pine nuts, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Caprese Salad Stacks with Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes
Serves 8

All you need:
1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (gluten-free or regular)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus more for garnish)
2-3 medium green (unripe) tomatoes, sliced (you will want 8 slices total)
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 16 slices

Pesto –
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (plus more for garnish)
Salt, to taste

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place flour on a plate. Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a bowl. Combine cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in another bowl. Coat each tomato slice in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Once all the slices are coated, spray the tops of the tomatoes with cooking spray.
3. Bake the tomatoes for 5 minutes, flip (lightly coat with more cooking spray) and cook for 5 minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile, make your pesto in a food processor or blender.
5. Place 8 mozzarella slices on a platter and top each with 1 tomato. Top with another mozzarella slice. Top with pesto and garnish with pine nuts, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

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