‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond’s Fried Green Tomato Caprese Is ‘a Whale of a Good Time’

The Pioneer Woman showed home cooks how to make a scrumptious salad just in time for the warm weather. Here’s how to make Ree Drummond’s fried green tomato caprese salad recipe.

Ree Drummond’s fried green tomato caprese recipe

Stephen Colbert and Ree Drummond do a cooking demonstration.
Stephen Colbert and Ree Drummond | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Drummond says there’s nothing better than a good caprese salad. She says there’s also nothing better than fried green tomatoes. The Accidental Country Girl decided to combine the two and make fried green tomato caprese salad. She says eating this salad is “a whale of a good time” and it’s a great twist on the old classic version. “It’s a great presentation and really fun to make,” says Drummond on The Pioneer Woman show.

Drummond starts by slicing mozzarella. She then sets up what she calls a breading assembly line. She places flour and seasoned salt in the first dish, three eggs in the second dish (she whisks them with a fork), and panko bread crumbs in the third dish. She says you can use seasoned bread crumbs instead if you prefer.

Drummond says it’s hard for her to go from panko bread crumbs to regular bread crumbs because panko is “light and crisp.” Next, Drummond drops the green tomatoes into the flour (she dips two at a time). She places them in the bowl of eggs and then in the panko. She says to make sure the green tomatoes are completely coated.

Next, Drummond drops the green tomatoes into a pan of hot oil. She advises home cooks to be careful when dropping the tomatoes in the oil. Drummond fries the tomatoes in two batches and takes them out when they’re golden. She fries the tomatoes for about two minutes. Then she removes them from the pan and sprinkles salt on top.

Putting the finishing touches on the Caprese salad

Next, Drummond arranges an alternating circle of mozzarella and tomato on a plate. She says you can let the fried tomatoes cool before preparing them for the salad, but she likes to work with warm tomatoes because they help melt the mozzarella cheese. “I love that once you bread the tomatoes, they basically wind up being the same size as the slices of mozzarella,” says Drummond.

Drummond places basil leaves on top of the fried tomatoes and mozzarella. Shen then sprinkles balsamic glaze. Drummond jokes around and apologizes to Alex and Mauricio because they aren’t fans of balsamic glaze. “I’m sorry to tell you there’s no getting around it,” she laughs. For the basil, Drummond says you can either use large leaves or you can tear small pieces.

Getting creative

Drummond says there are many ways to modify this salad. You can add color with other vegetables, or you can add bread and make a sandwich instead of a salad.

“Another thing you can do is do fried green tomatoes and sliced red tomatoes that aren’t fried, and then you have sort of a colorful mix,” says Drummond. “There are so many possibilities. You can even get some bread and smash two of these between two pieces and make a fried green tomato Caprese sandwich.”

Drummond says her fried green tomato caprese salad can be consumed as a snack, salad, or appetizer. “You can eat it any time of day,” says Drummond. “It will be delicious no matter what.”

RELATED: ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond’s Chocolate Sheet Cake With Vanilla Bean Frosting Recipe Is a Family Favorite

Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.