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


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:
  1. 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:
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine crab, watermelon, and basil.
  2. 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:
  1. In a shallow dish, season flour lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Top fried green tomatoes with watermelon-crab salad and drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.
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