We all need a little fried in our lives. From green beans to potatoes, what doesn't fried look good on? My personal favorite fried treats are artichokes, tomatoes, and pickles. Although I find fried food to be delicious, it's not a craving I satisfy on a regular basis due to the bad rap it receives in the health department. Thus, when I had a random and intense craving for fried tomatoes the other day, I opted to put a healthful twist on the dish. Oven-frying is a simple way to up the health and lower the calories on any of your favorite fried recipes. Remember, whatever lots of oil in a pan can do, a little yogurt and your oven can do better. These oven-fried tomatoes turned out more flavorful than the real thing and packed an incredible crispy crunch. Serve these oven-fried delights over an arugula salad and topped with chèvre to create a light and flavorful dinner.
Oven-Fried Red Tomatoes w/ Herb-Rolled Chèvre (Serves 4)
For the tomatoes:
* 4 large tomatoes, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
* 1 cup plain bread crumbs
* 2 tsp Italian seasoning
* pinch of crushed red pepper
* ¼ tsp sea salt
* 6 oz plain fat-free yogurt
For the herb-rolled chèvre:
* 4 oz chèvre roll
* 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
For the arugula salad:
* 8 cups arugula
* ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
* ¼ cup olive oil
* sea salt and black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and salt together. In another bowl, whisk the yogurt with a fork until smooth. Dip the tomato slices, one at a time, into the yogurt and ensure both sides are coated evenly. Move the yogurt-coated slices into the bread crumb mixture and toss to coat. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with foil. Oven-fry the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp, being sure to flip each slice over at the halfway mark.
2. While the tomatoes are getting their fry on, cut the chèvre roll into 4 slices. Roll each slice in the chopped parsley and set aside. For the last 3-5 minutes the tomatoes are in the oven, place the herb-coated chèvre slices on the baking sheet to warm through (keep an eye on them to ensure they don't melt completely).
3. While the tomatoes are cooling, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula and balsamic vinaigrette (gradually add in the vinaigrette as you may not need all of it to coat the arugula).
4. Plate the arugula salad and top with 4 fried tomato slices. Garnish with the herb-rolled chèvre and serve immediately. Enjoy!