Sliced Heirloom Tomato Stack with Blue Cheese

Total Time:
45 min
30 min
15 min

4 to 6 servings

  • Onion Rings:
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups Arborio Rice coating, recipe follows
  • 6 red onions, thickly sliced, loosely separated into rings
  • 8 cups peanut oil
  • Tomato Stack:
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, julienne
  • Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese, frozen
Onion Rings:
  • Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl spread out the rice coating. Take onion rings and coat with buttermilk, and then cover with coating, shaking off excess. Place coated rings on a tray.

  • In a large deep saucepan, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees F. With a slotted wire spoon, carefully lower the coated rings into pan to fry. Do the rings in small batches to allow oil to remain a consistent temperature. Place fried rings on a paper towel on a tray to dry.

  • Tomato Stack:

  • Cut a small slice from the bottom of the tomatoes - enough so that they will stand. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices (about 2 or 3), leaving the stem on top.

  • Season the slices with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with olive oil.

  • Place the basil leaves in between the tomato slices, and re-stack tomato. Serve re-stacked tomatoes around a larger stack of onion rings in center of a large serving plate. Drizzle more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grate the frozen blue cheese over top.

Arborio Rice Coating:
  • 1 cup Arborio rice

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup semolina

  • 2 tablespoons table salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Grind the rice in a blender until very fine. Put it in a bowl and add the all-purpose flour, semolina, salt and pepper. Toss until well blended. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for maximum freshness.

  • Yield: about 5 cups

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    Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian