Fried Green Tomato “Caprese” with Crab, Watermelon, and Arnold Palmer Vinaigrette
Yields 4 servings
From chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis, Tennessee
1 pound jumbo lump blue crab meat, checked for shells
2 cups seeded and diced watermelon
Few handfuls basil, 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 cup fresh lemon juice
3 sprigs fresh mint
2 tablespoons honey
Make the vinaigrette:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine tea, lemon juice, and mint. Cook until just reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain mixture into a bowl and stir in honey. Set aside.
Prepare the crab salad:
In a mixing bowl, combine crab, watermelon, and basil.
In a small bowl, whisk lime with oil and salt and pepper. Pour over crab-watermelon mixture and toss carefully, just to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Bread and fry the tomatoes:
In a shallow dish, season flour lightly with salt and pepper.
Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and cover with buttermilk. Remove 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.
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 on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
Top fried green tomatoes with watermelon-crab salad and drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.