gillx001_500x500Our “Quarantine Cooking” series continues with Fried Green Tomato Lasagna! UPF acquisitions editor Meredith Morris-Babb tried this recipe from Pickled, Fried, and Fresh: Bert Gill’s Southern Flavors.

Meredith’s comments:

Bert Gill is a genius—I don’t think I will ever make lasagna with noodles again. Although the final photo does not look all that appetizing, this was an amazing dish—the tomatoes stayed firm in the baking and the blend of cheeses was just right. Next time I may add a bit of prosciutto to give it a bacon-y flavor.

Fried Green Tomato Lasagna

Chef Bert Gill says: This lasagna is right at home for just about any dinner party, and it’s particularly happy parked next to fresh sourdough bread and a bowl of delicious olives. I like the play between the crispy fried green tomatoes and the creamy ricotta. Artfully arrange Tomato Salad [see below] on the plate with this lasagna, and you’ve got the perfect summer entrée.

Makes 4–6 servings

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 green tomatoes, sliced approximately ¼ inch thick
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mozzarella
  1. Combine all the first eight ingredients (through olive oil) for the ricotta mixture and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water together until frothy. In another bowl, mix the cornmeal and bread crumbs together. In a third bowl, pour the flour.
  3. Dredge the sliced green tomatoes in the flour first, then the egg wash, followed by the cornmeal and bread crumb mixture.
  4. Fry the breaded tomatoes in a large sauté pan that is filled a little less than halfway with vegetable oil and heated to 325°F (check with a kitchen thermometer) for 3 minutes on each side. Set on a wire rack to cool. Season with a little salt.
  5. In a 9×12-inch baking pan, layer the fried green tomatoes with the ricotta mixture and finish with a layer of fried green tomatoes on top. Add the fresh chopped mozzarella. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F.
  6. Garnish each plate with fresh Tomato Salad.

Tomato Salad

  • 2–4 cups assorted fresh tomatoes
  • sherry vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch or two of fresh, chopped basil

For each serving, place a portion of the tomatoes on the plate as a side, then drizzle a very small amount of the sherry vinegar followed by the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and finish with a little fresh basil.

Note from chef Bert Gill: A frothy egg wash and lighter bread crumbs equal a lighter breading. Coarse crumbs and a thicker egg wash will make a heavier breading. I prefer a lighter breading so that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the fresh tomatoes.

Give yourself plenty of space to bread the tomatoes. Line up everything so you go in one direction. If the breading becomes too clumpy, you can sift it. Make sure you have plenty of extra flour, bread crumbs, and cornmeal.

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