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Fried Green Tomato “Caprese” with Jumbo Lump Blue Crab, Watermelon, and Arnold Palmer Vinaigrette

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Ingredients

1 pound jumbo lump blue crab meat

2 cups watermelon, seeded and medium diced

Basil, lots of it, chopped chiffonade

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups flour

3 firm green tomatoes

2 cups buttermilk

Vegetable oil for frying

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives

Arnold Palmer Vinaigrette

2 cups unsweetened brewed black tea

½ fresh lemon juice

3 sprigs fresh mint

2 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. To make vinaigrette, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine tea, lemon juice, and mint. Cook until just reduced by half, 5-10 minutes. Strain mixture into a bowl and stir in honey. Set aside.
  2. Check crab for shells, taking care not to break chunks up too much, and place in a bowl. Add watermelon and basil.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lime with oil and salt and pepper. Toss crab/watermelon mixture with lime/oil mixture carefully, just to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put flour in a shallow dish and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place sliced tomatoes in a bowl and cover with buttermilk. Remove tomatoes from buttermilk, season with salt and pepper, and dredge in seasoned flour. Repeat the process for all tomato slices and set aside on a plate.
  6. Fill a large cast iron skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees. When oil is hot, in batches if necessary, carefully slide coated tomatoes into oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain tomatoes on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place 3 slices of fried green tomato on each place. Top with watermelon and crab meat. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.
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