Fried Red Tomatoes Italian Style with Basil Pesto Aioli

fried red tomatoes

I think I just discovered my new favorite summer indulgence, fried red tomatoes, they’re made Italian Style with basil pesto aioli for dipping. Yes, I repeat, fried RED tomatoes. I’ve had the green version in the past, but I  must say I much prefer these so much more, but that’s my opinion and you’re going to have to decide for yourself.heirloom tomatoes

Try to pick tomatoes that are not super ripe and juicy like the kind you’d use in a caprese salad, that’s not what you want at all. The ones pictured above are ripened but yet still firm to the touch, that’s exactly what you want to use.  The tomatoes need to be able to hold up to some dipping and frying.fried green tomatoes

For my “breading” I dipped each tomato slice into beaten eggs and then into a combination of dried polenta and finely grated romano cheese, it’s such a winning combo and it’s even gluten free!
fried red tomatoes

They just take a few minutes to make, they crisp up in no time at all, but resist eating them while still hot from the pan because there’s no comparison to the flavor you get when you bite into them after they’ve cooled down at room temperature.

fried red tomatoesbasil pesto aioli

Basil and tomatoes are a match made in heaven so be sure to make this easy basil pesto aioli to swipe into those crispy, crunchy bites.

fried red tomatoes

Go ahead, indulge yourself, it’s worth every bite, summer will be gone before you know it!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Fried Red Tomatoes Italian Style with Basil Pesto Aioli
 
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Ingredients
  • large size, firm yet ripened tomatoes, I used heirlooms, sliced ¼ inch thick.
  • dry polenta
  • romano cheese, finely grated
  • dried thyme, granulated garlic, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • olive oil for pan frying
  • BASIL PESTO AIOLI
  • good quality mayo
  • basil pesto, homemade or good quality store bought
  • fresh basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by slicing your tomatoes into ¼ inch slices, cutting off the tips and bottoms.
  2. Pull out the seeds with the tip of your finger, you don't want the slices to be wet.
  3. Lay tomato slices onto a paper towel to pat dry.
  4. Make your pesto aioli by simply stirring some good basil pesto into a good quality prepared mayo, stirring to incorporate and tasting to your satisfaction, adding more if needed.
  5. Equal parts polenta and finely grated romano cheese.
  6. Sprinkle in some dried time, a little granulated garlic, salt and pepper.
  7. Beat two eggs, use more as needed depending how many tomatoes you are using.
  8. Heat a frying pan on the stove and cover the bottom with olive oil, keep on medium heat.
  9. Dip tomato slice into the egg then into the polenta cheese mixture.
  10. Place into the frying pan and don't flip it until it is nicely golden, then flip and do the other side.
  11. When crispy, gently remove and place onto a paper towel to absorb grease, which is not much.
  12. Sprinkle with a little salt and let them cool down before eating.
  13. Sprinkle with finely chopped basil, a little sprinkling of cheese and serve with the basil pesto aioli.

 

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Summer Tomato and Corn Tart

summer tomato and corn tart

Tomato season is finally here, and nothing compares to the taste of a summertime vine ripened tomato! We have such a short season here in Chicago and I look forward to making this tart each year when the tomatoes are at their peak!

summer tomato and corn tart

The base of this tart is made with phyllo dough, I like using a phyllo crust because it’s light, flaky and gives you a nice crunch with every bite, it’s also very easy to work with because it’s so forgiving, you could put a ripped piece down and no one would know the difference. I always have a box handy in my freezer, just follow the directions for defrosting before you want to use it.

Like I said, I prefer using phyllo dough for this tart, it seems to even lighten it up a bit, but in the past I’ve even used a pie crust and it was just as good, so feel free to use whatever kind of crust you like.

tomato and corn tart ingredients

Because really, it’s all about the other delicious ingredients. Along with some juicy ripe tomatoes I added caramelized onions, shredded mozzarella, fresh basil and planks of corn.

summer tomato and corn tart

This is the perfect summertime meal, add a green salad and you’re all set!

summer tomato and corn tart

I’ve made this twice already and intend to make it a few more times this summer, I hope you give it a try!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Summer Tomato and Corn Tart
 
Make this delicious tart when tomatoes and fresh corn are at their peak in the summer
Author:
Ingredients
  • tart pan with removable bottom, sprayed or brushed with olive oil, I used a 7 x 11, but you can use any size, just adjust the ingredients accordingly
  • 6 layers of phyllo dough adjusted to fit in the tart pan
  • 3 sweet onions, sliced, cooked down to a nice carmelization
  • tomatoes, sliced thin, preferably done on a mandoline, enough so you can overlap each piece, you can also use some cherry tomatoes cut in half to place in between the sliced tomatoes
  • shredded mozzarella,not the wet kind, enough to cover the bottom of the tart pan you use
  • 2 or 3 ears of steamed or grilled fresh corn, cooled and cut into planks
  • olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • fresh basil
  • grated romano or parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Prep all the ingredients first, cook down the sliced onions in a skillet drizzled in olive oil, low and slow until a deep caramelization happens, could take around 30- 40 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Have your tomatoes thinly sliced.
  3. Have your corn cut into planks and set aside.
  4. Have your mozzarella shredded and ready to go.
  5. When every thing is prepped, open up the box of phyllo and start to layer tart pan using one sheet at a time, spraying or brushing each layer all over with olive oil making sure to fit it into the pan placing the phyllo up the sides as well.
  6. When the 6 layers are complete, spread shredded mozzarella all over the bottom covering completely, sprinkle with grated romano or parmesan and some chopped fresh basil all around.
  7. Take a fork and place the caramelized onions all over the shredded mozzarella, you will probably have some extra.
  8. Place the corn planks all around.
  9. Top with the sliced tomatoes, overlapping each to cover the whole tart, you can also add some sliced cherry tomatoes if you desire.
  10. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and sprinkle dried oregano all over as well, plus salt and pepper.
  11. Place tart in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for around 30 minutes or until phyllo is nicely golden brown and you can see the mozzarella all melted down.
  12. Let it rest before removing the bottom and cutting, I use a pizza cutter to cut through the phyllo.
  13. Garnish with more fresh basil.

 

 

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Tomato Tart with Brown Rice Crust

tomato tart with brown rice crust Nothing beats the taste of freshly picked, right off the vine garden tomatoes, the flavor, the texture, everything is so different, I’m sure going to miss them when there gone, but for now I’m going to enjoy them any which way I can!

Almost every meal I make, including breakfast, you’ll see a side of sliced tomatoes drizzled with good olive oil and sea salt sitting on my table, it’s a staple here in the summer.

garden tomatoes But after hauling in these beauties the other day I decided I’d make a tomato tart for dinner!

brown rice crust for tart I also remembered I had a big bag of leftover cooked brown rice sitting in my fridge, and since I hate to waste anything I thought, why not change it up a bit and make the rice be the crust for the tart instead of pastry dough.  I’m excited to say we loved it, it was so good!

tomato tart with brown rice crust I used a deeper, fluted tart pan but you could also use a deep dish pie pan, I say deep because you want plenty of room for your  rice crust, filling and topping of tomatoes.  Notice the crust edge, it came out perfectly from the pan, it had a nice crunch and chewy texture to it.

tomato tart with brown rice crust It went ridiculously good with the savory, cheesy ricotta filling!

tomato tart with brown rice crust And oh, those tomatoes, what can I say? They were bursting with flavor and took the whole tart over the top!

tomato tart with brown rice crust Would you like me to cut you a wedge?

Tomato Tart with Brown Rice Crust
 
Ingredients
  • 9 inch deep fluted tart pan with removable bottom or a deep dish pie pan
  • FOR CRUST
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion diced and 1 garlic clove, sauteed
  • ⅓ cup of grated romano cheese
  • ¼ cup of loosely packed and shredded fontina or any other melting cheese
  • basil and parsley, fresh chopped, 2 tablespoons each
  • FILLING
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
  • ⅓ cup of grated romano cheese
  • ½ cup of shredded fontina or any other melting cheese
  • basil and parsley, fresh chopped, 2 tablespoons each
  • TOPPING
  • vine ripened tomatoes, any kind, either quartered or cut in half depending on size, enough to cover the top of tart
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the rice, beaten eggs, sauteed garlic and onion, cheeses and herbs, mix well.
  2. Pat rice mixture into an olive oil sprayed tart or pie pan.
  3. Place filled tart pan on a baking sheet then into a 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove rice crust and let it cool down.
  5. Turn up oven temp to 400 degrees.F.
  6. Mix ricotta, cheeses, herbs, eggs and garlic for the filling then spread evenly onto the cooled rice crust.
  7. Place your tomatoes all over,slightly sinking them into the ricotta mixture.
  8. Drizzle olive oil on top of the tomatoes and tart then bake for 30 minutes or until ricotta is set.
  9. To finish it, I like to place mine under the broiler to get it a nice golden color on top, but if you do that, keep checking and don't walk away from the stove!
  10. Let it cool a little before slicing.
  11. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.

 

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Tomato Harvest and the Winner of my Giveaway

I’m sure many of you are thinking up different ways to use up your garden tomatoes like I am, I’m not a caner so I try to use them as they start piling up. So far I’ve made numerous caprese salads, ( a stash of fresh mozzarella is a staple in my fridge lately).
Tossed them into pastas, made gratins with them, used them with grilled meats and fish, stuffed them, made quick sauces, dried them.
I’ve roasted cherry tomatoes by the pan full and graced many things with them, pizza, panini, tarts, omelette’s, I could go on and on and so could you I bet!Recently I made this Tomato and Corn Pie and of course It has a little Italian twist on it. My only regret is, I should have made more than one, it was that good and disappeared in a heartbeat!
I just used a good store bought refrigerated pie dough, placed it into my pie pan, brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper, then I pricked the dough all around with a fork.
I layered the bottom with a mixture of shredded asiago, mozzarella and grated romano cheese.
On top of the cheese I scattered caramelized onions and fresh basil. Place fresh corn from the cob over that and add a quick drizzle of olive oil and more romano.
Arrange sliced tomatoes on top adding salt, pepper, dried oregano, fresh basil and another quick drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a 375 oven until crust is a nice deep brown. Let it cool down before you cut into it.
Serve this with a green salad and you have a fabulous meal!
I made this for breakfast last Sunday, Baked Eggs in Tomatoes.
Basically you cut a 1/2 inch off the top of a tomato, gently scoop out the seeds and inner membrane, being careful not to break through the flesh of the tomato. Season, drizzle with olive oil and layer the bottom with fresh corn. Place in a baking dish lined with parchment.
Whisk up one egg per tomato, I added basil, romano cheese and a bit of asiago and divide and pour mixture among the tomatoes. Top with romano and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Martha
Pop some toast in the toaster, have the coffee brewing and the Sunday paper near by and enjoy a leisurely breakfast!
Cheesey, eggy, tomatoey goodness, oh my!And now for the winner of my blogiversary giveaway!
Before I announce the winner I just want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments I received, I enjoyed reading each and every one of them, I was touched in so many ways.

AND THE WINNER IS……..
BECKY ROCHELLE

Marie,
you have reconnected me with my love for Italian food. I too am Italian, LOOOVE food, moonstruck, the godfather and all things Amore! I live in California and have skipped over Italian at times, due to the heaviness of the foods and carbs but you have shown me the light! I am newly engaged, love to cook and have impressed my Fiance with all of your recipes- Cedar Plank Portobellos, Zucchini boats, tarts, etc… It all has been amazing! We both thank you! I have made some of your dishes for my girlfriends as well. Not only do I have the confidence that the meal will be delicious, but it also has been so fun to make and create each dish with all of the incredible tastes and color-combinations! Thank you again!
Becky Rochelle
I found you on my cousin’s Pinterest account!

Becky I will be contacting you via email, CONGRATS!
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From Garden to Table

Besides my herbs, tomatoes and kale have been our top producers this season from our garden, we have given away so much kale and it’s still growing! It’s been so nice to walk out to the garden, pick something and then create a meal around it. Cold weather and winter comes too soon here so I’m savoring every last bit of summer.

What’s summer without fresh sliced tomatoes simply dressed with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper? Sometimes I add fresh mozzarella or fresh ricotta or even just plain, it doesn’t matter as long as there’s some good crusty bread alongside, it’s a meal in itself!

Vine ripened cherry tomatoes roasted and tossed in pasta is good plain or with any kind of seafood, topped off with crunchy breadcrumbs and fresh herbs enhances the flavors.

How about a zucchini ricotta pie? You can add tomatoes, grated cheese, onions, garlic, lemon zest and fresh herbs, with or without a crust, either way it’s a great summer meal with a salad.

I have really grown to love kale this year and the fact that it’s so good for you is a bonus!

Pasta with sauteed kale, garlic, roasted tomatoes and cannellini beans graced our table a few times this summer, shave a little pecorino romano on top and you have a nice healthy meal.


Of course everything is cooked with heart healthy extra virgin olive oil, is there really anything else?

I wanted to make ricotta gnocchi, so instead of adding spinach like I normally do, I thought why not try it with kale, I just chopped it up small, sauteed it for a few minutes and folded it right into the ricotta.

This was so good tossed into a light marinara sauce and so quick and easy to make. It’s hard to believe September is right around the corner. Hope you’re enjoying every last minute of your summer!
Buon Appetito!

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