Fried Green Tomatoes with Labneh Cheese and an Olive and Tomato Salsa

Good quality green tomatoes are delicious, they have a slightly sour taste. They make an excellent chutney and are good in salsas. Crispy fried green tomatoes are a classic American dish which works brilliantly in this recipe. Labneh cheese balls complement the texture and flavour of the green tomatoes, with its smooth creaminess and hidden sharp flavour.

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Ingredients

Olive and Tomato Salsa

  • 200g black olives of your choice, de stoned and roughly chopped
  • 400g red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, shredded
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • couple of generous pinches of Maldon/Murray River/Cornish salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 6 green tomatoes, sliced into slices 1-2cm thick
  • 75g rice flour or plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 150g polenta
  • oil for frying

To Serve

  • 18 small labneh cheese balls
  • 60g fresh salad leaves eg. rocket
  • deep fried shredded leek

Method

  1. Olive and Tomato Salsa: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss them together until well combined. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance after this you may find the tomatoes go soggy.
  2. Green Tomatoes: Place the flour in a bowl or on a plate mixed with the smoked paprika and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a large bowl. Place the polenta in a large bowl or on a plate
  3. Coat the green tomatoes in the flour, then the eggs and finely the polenta shaking off any excess crumbs.
  4. To Cook: Heat some oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. when hot cook the tomatoes for up to a minute on each side so that they are golden. Place the cooked tomatoes on kitchen paper and keep them warm while you cook the rest.
  5. To Serve: Lay 4-6 slices in an over lapping circle in the centre of each plate. Place a handful of salad leaves on the slices and top with a labneh cheese. Garnish with deep-fried shredded leak and scatter the salsa generously around the plate. Sprinkle over a little paprika. Serve
  6. Tip: The tomatoes can be served on their own with chilli jam or sweet chilli sauce and sour cream.