Brandywine tomatoes simply contain too much water to allow them to fry up crunchy. The original recipe called for granulated garlic, but I substituted what I had on hand: adobo seasoning. If you double the recipe, wipe out the skillet between batches. A squeeze of lemon brightens the flavor.
Fried Red Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces fresh plum tomatoes, ends trimmed, sliced ¼-inch-thick
½ teaspoon adobo seasoning
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Lemon slices, for serving
Line a wire rack with paper towels. Evenly space tomato slices on rack, sprinkle with adobo seasoning and let drain for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through draining.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In a shallow dish, whisk buttermilk and egg together. In another shallow dish, combine cornmeal, flour, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Lightly pat tops of tomatoes with paper towels to remove any accumulated liquid. Dip tomato slices in buttermilk mixture, then dredge in cornmeal mixture, pressing firmly to adhere; transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add all tomatoes slices to skillet and fry until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with basil. Serve with lemon wedges.