They say impatience is a character flaw and I’m the first to admit I’m occasionally (frequently?) impatient (hey, I’m working on it!). But impatience isn’t truly a flaw when it leads to a really great meal, right? Such was the case with Sunday’s breakfast.
Impatience with our tomatoes was my motivation. We have a ton of tomatoes in our garden, but aside from a couple cherry varieties, they are all still stubbornly green. Every day I inspect the garden in the morning and again in the evening looking for the slightest blush on the bumper crop of beautiful orbs. And day after day, I see nothing but varying shades of obstinate green.
To avoid prolonging enjoyment of our bounty, I envisioned a baked version of fried green tomatoes similar to the eggplant in my Baked Eggplant Parmesan. I mixed up a spicy aioli for a topping, and since this was to be breakfast, I knew eggs would play into the finished product.
Evolving in my mind as I went about the preparation, ripe red tomatoes picked up that morning at the farmers market were just begging to join the party, and I obliged. The resulting stack of “fried” green tomato, aioli, ripe tomato, over-easy egg, repeat, then topped with one more green tomato and another dab of aioli made for a breakfast that was downright stunning.
The stacked combo tasted so amazing, it was one of those recipes that immediately went into the “recipes so good they must be served in my restaurant” folder (yes, a restaurant that exists only in my mind).
The “fried” green tomatoes are delicious on their own with a little aioli and make a great snack if you have leftovers after breakfast, which we did. Arriving home sunburnt and hungry that night after an outdoor concert on a gorgeous summer Sunday, they hit the spot—satisfying and delicious like junk food, yet healthy. What more could you ask? Enjoy!
Oven Fried Green Tomato and Red Ripe Tomato and Egg Breakfast Stacks with Hot Cherry Pepper Aioli
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup flour
2 large eggs, plus more for cooking to your preference for the stacks (2 per stack)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
A pinch of cayenne pepper
½ cup mayonnaise (I use vegan Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
2 hot cherry peppers, sliced (I use Trader Joe’s Hot & Sweet Cherry Peppers)
1 clove garlic minced
One large ripe (red) tomato, sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a metal cooling rack on a large baking pan. Core green tomatoes and cut them into thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place flour in a large zip-lock bag. Mix eggs and buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Place panko in another shallow bowl and stir in the cayenne and a little salt & pepper.
Put a few slices of tomato in the plastic bag and seal. Shake (Shake ‘n Bake style) to dredge the tomatoes. One at a time, dip tomato slices in egg until coated and then in panko mixture to coat—make sure to get both sides and edges. Place on the rack in baking pan. Repeat with remaining tomato slices.
Spray tops of coated tomatoes with olive oil cooking spray and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on rack for a few minutes.
While tomatoes are baking, prepare aioli by placing mayo, cherry peppers, and garlic in a mini food processor or blender and pulsed until combined. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
While the fried tomatoes are briefly cooling, cook two eggs for each stack, to your preference. I think over-easy with yummy runny yolks are the best, but however you prefer your eggs works.
To assemble stacks, place one fried tomato on a plate and spoon a small dollop of aioli on top. Top with a ripe red tomato slice, one egg, and repeat those layers. Finish with one more fried tomato and another dollop of aioli. Take a photo cuz it’s going to look awesome, then sit down with a hot cup of good coffee and dig in. There should be enough fried tomatoes for four stacks. Hearty appetites can handle a whole stack, but lighter eaters might want to split a stack.