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Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon Vinaigrette and Warm Frisée

  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 12
  • HEALTHY

Any good bacon is wonderful in this tart, smoky and rich salad, but Joe Vitale especially likes the applewood-smoked kind from Nueske's in Wisconsin (nueskes.com). "It's probably the best bacon you'll ever find," he says. For him, the subtle, sweetly smoky applewood flavor beats alder or hickory.

  1. 4 large green (unripe) tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 6 ounces thickly sliced bacon (6 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  6. 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  7. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  8. Cayenne pepper
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 tablespoon water
  11. 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  12. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  13. Canola oil, for frying
  14. 1 large head of frisée lettuce (1/2 pound), torn into pieces
  1. In a large bowl, gently toss the tomatoes with the garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat; stir in the vinegar.
  3. In a pie plate or shallow bowl, season 3/4 cup of the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. In another pie plate, whisk the eggs with the water. In a third pie plate, mix the cornmeal with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and the thyme and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Drain the tomatoes. Working with 1 slice at a time, dip the tomatoes in the flour, tapping off any excess, then dip in the beaten egg and then in the cornmeal; press to help it adhere. Transfer the breaded slices to the prepared baking sheet.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of canola oil until shimmering. Fry the tomato slices in batches over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a rack lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the fried green tomatoes with salt.
  5. Rewarm the bacon fat and vinegar in the skillet over low heat. Add the frisée, season with salt and pepper and toss until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the fried tomatoes to plates and top with the wilted frisée. Garnish with the bacon and serve right away.
Notes One Serving 202 Calories, 17 gm Total Fat, 3.4 gm Saturated Fat, 11 gm Carbohydrates, 1.5 gm Fiber.
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