Sheryl Crow's personal chef Chuck White says he came up with this recipe one Saturday when he was cruising the farmers’ market, looking for something to cook for Sheryl and some of her friends. The tomatoes were at their peak so he decided to create an all-tomato meal. (He even picked up some tomato–strawberry ice cream.)

This recipe—one of Sheryl's favorites—is a play on the classic BLT but without the bread. If you want to go vegan, use Smart Bacon, and instead of the aioli, use vegan mayo jazzed up with lemon juice and garlic powder. Get more recipes from Sheryl and Chuck's cookbook
Servings: Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup very ripe tomatoes , seeded and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. truffle oil
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices pancetta thick-cut nitrate-free turkey bacon or Smart Bacon
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs , preferably omega-3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 8 slices (1/4-inch thick) green tomato
  • Canola oil , preferably expeller-pressed, for frying assembly
  • 4 to 5 Tbsp. roasted garlic aioli
  • 3 cups baby spinach or arugula leaves
Roasted Garlic Aioli (Makes 1 2/3 cups)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. chopped roasted garlic
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups light olive oil or canola oil , preferably expeller-pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make emulsion: In a blender, pulse the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste, 3 or 4 times or until smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the truffle and olive oils and slowly drizzle the oils into the blender through the feed tube while the blender is on medium speed. Pour the emulsion into a glass or plastic container, cover and keep at room temperature.

To make roasted garlic aioli: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, and mustard several times until mixed.

With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube until the aioli thickens to the consistency of a very light mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the aioli to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

To make BLTs: Preheat the oven to 375°.

Lay the pancetta slices on a baking sheet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy. There is no need to turn the pancetta during oven cooking. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, season the all-purpose flour lightly with salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. In a third bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and cornmeal and season lightly.

Toss the green tomato slices one at a time in the flour to coat on both sides. Dip them in the egg wash and coat them with the cornmeal mixture. Gently transfer the tomato slices to a plate or shallow pan lined with foil or parchment paper and lay them in a single layer without touching each other.

To fry, pour enough canola oil into a deep skillet to measure between 1/4 and 1/2 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough for frying when the air directly above it shimmers. To test for doneness, drop a small cube of bread in the oil and if it sizzles and browns, the oil is ready. Another test is to sprinkle the oil with water to see if it will spatter and sizzle.

Fry the tomato slices 1 or 2 at a time, in the hot oil, submerging them with long-handled tongs. Cook them, turning them once during frying, for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. (Alternatively, fry the tomatoes in a deep-fat fryer).

Transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper towel–lined platter or baking sheet and while warm, season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside in a draft-free area of the kitchen or keep in the turned-off oven so that they don’t cool too quickly.

To assemble: Put a tomato slice on a salad plate. Spread a teaspoon or so of aioli on top of the tomato and then top with a slice of pancetta. Put a small handful of spinach or arugula on the pancetta and then lay a second strip of pancetta over the greens. Top with another teaspoon or so of aioli and then with a second tomato slice and more greens. Drizzle the tomato emulsion over the greens and around the plate. Repeat to make 4 BLTs.


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