Sandwich #175–“Indian Summer” Oven-Baked Fried Green Tomatoes with Feta and Pesto

bakedfrigreenThe weekends are for slowing things down.

No rushing to events, to dinners or to appointments. I went to yoga on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon, and instead of running right back home from the gym, I walked the long way, right through the farmer’s market in downtown Brooklyn.

What caught my eye there were four tables full of fresh tomatoes. Beefy heirloom tomatoes the size of shot puts, yellow and purple tomatoes, and on the other side, fresh green tomatoes.

I hadn’t cooked fried green tomatoes since very early on in this project. I remember I had to call my mother to figure out how to fry the things. But now, after a year of cooking practice, I felt good about whipping these up on my own. This time, I would bake the fried green tomatoes, to cut the grease and fat since E and I were trying to keep it healthy, and make homemade pesto as a nice condiment.

E was fine with fried green tomatoes for sandwiches. But remember, raw, uncooked, (and therefore, unloved) tomatoes were,….say it with me now…. “for-bid-den.”

I whipped up a quick cornflake crumb breading mixture with paprika, cayenne, cumin and black pepper, for a bit of kick. I dunked the slices in buttermilk, then cornmeal, 30 minutes on a baking sheet, and boom. Lunch was served.

E and I ate outside on the porch with our plants, enjoying what was probably the last warm weekend we’ll see until next year. We took time out to just relax, listen to the leaves in the breeze and feel the sun on our faces. Fall would officially begin this week. “We’ll have to plan another adventure,” E told I. Indeed. Maybe tomorrow.

2 medium ripe green tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 slices English muffin or wheat bread (I used Arnold’s Sandwich Thins, to cut the amount of carbs)
1 cup arugula or greens
1 cup pesto
sea salt
black pepper

In a small bowl, beat the egg, and mix in the buttermilk. Set aside. Next mix the cornflake breading–mix cornflake crumbs, paprika, cayenne, cumin, chili power and black pepper in a medium shallow bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. To prep tomatoes, dunk slice into the egg and buttermilk mixture first, then the cornmeal, then repeat. Set on baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining slices, and lay evenly on baking sheet (try not to have them touching). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brown.

Meanwhile, make pesto from sandwich #130.

Toast bread. Dress greens. Slather pesto on both sides of bread, then layer on greens, slices of tomato, feta and red onion. Top with top of bun. Serve. Makes about 4 small sandwiches.

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