I’ve been getting so many amazing heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market lately. And I really want to bring you guys some awesome tomato recipes. Because summer. Obviously. But when I try to think of something exciting and new to do with these little gems, my mind goes blank. I can hear an echo inside my head. Totally empty in there. Because all I ever want to do with fresh summer tomatoes is make BLT’s and caprese salads. And I don’t think you guys really need a recipe for those things…..
But then I decided to do a twist on a classic caprese salad. And it was so good that I deemed it totally worthy of sharing.
OK so here is the new and fun part: I replaced the mozzarella with some pan-fried crusted goat cheese. Whoa. So good. The goat cheese gets a nice little crunch on the outside. And it’s warm and soft on the inside. It goes perfectly with tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Yeah summer!
What I like to do is grab tomatoes that are all different sizes and colors. Then I mix and match ‘em in the stacks for a cool visual effect. It makes me feel super fancy. But you can totally make these with a single variety of tomato. It will still be delicious!
Crusted Goat Cheese Caprese Stacks
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 (8 ounce) goat cheese log
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- About 8 medium heirloom tomatoes (different varieties if possible)
- About 32 fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Make the crusted goat cheese. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse the almonds until finely chopped. Add the panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Transfer to a wide shallow bowl or plate. Cut the goat cheese log into 8 rounds. If the goat cheese becomes crumbly, just use your hands to press it back into a disk shape. Dip each goat cheese round in the egg and then in the almond/panko crumb mixture, being sure to coat all sides.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and warm the olive oil. Add the coated goat cheese rounds and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Then gently flip them using a spatula and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. The coating should be golden brown. Carefully remove and transfer the crusted goat cheese to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Slice the tomatoes into about 1/4 inch slices. Layer the tomato slices, starting with the largest slices on bottom, and place a fresh basil leaf between each slice. Use 4 slices of tomato and 4 fresh basil leaves per stack. I like to mix and match different varieties/colors for the most “wow” factor. Top each stack with one crusted goat cheese round. Then drizzle about 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar over the top of each stack. Serve immediately.
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