Recipes: Sliced Heirloom Tomato Stack with Blue Cheese

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

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:
4 vine-ripened Chef Jeff 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:

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
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

adminSliced Heirloom Tomato Stack with Blue Cheese