Sliced Heirloom Tomato Stack with Blue Cheese

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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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:

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Tomato Stack:
  4. 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.
  5. Season the slices with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with olive oil.
  6. 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:

Yield: about 5 cups
  1. 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.