Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stacked Fried Green Tomato BLT Salad with Candied Bacon & Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Before I get to the salad that I made as a part of my Mountain Man's birthday dinner, I have to tell a story. There's a running joke in our family about my father and I. It all started with him, but he has graciously passed this gift down to me, so I can carry out the legacy. Anyways, throughout my father's life, he always had an incredible knack for putting himself in the oddest, craziest situations. They just kind of fall into his lap. For instance, one time, my dad was at the gas station, sitting in the passenger seat (while my mom was inside getting some snacks), and a random lady just jumps into the car with him and furiously drives off. My dad is sitting in the car, jaw to the floor, like "what just happened here, am I being kidnapped"... So, finally the woman notices that this was not her car, and that man sitting beside her is not her husband. She was so embarrassed that she drove him back to the gas station and insisted that she pay for his gas. This all occurred before my mom even returned to the car, so she still refuses to believe that this crazy thing that my father had told her, really happened. Okay, so now you have gotten the background info... fast-forward to my life. I am sitting in my apartment in downtown Savannah and I decide to go into my room to do something (I have now forgotten what I was actually doing in there, but that is really relevant). I'm all by myself, just minding my own business, my Mountain Man is at work, la-tee-dah. I suddenly hear the door open and close. I automatically think it's the boyfriend, so I finish what I'm doing and I finally start making my way towards the front door. But, I catch a quick glimpse into the living room through our bedroom door, and I see a woman sitting on my couch, feet up on the table, going through our saved DVR shows. Like NBD, just chillin' in a someone's apartment. At this point, I'm terrified because either this person is coming to rob me, or steal me, or she's just bat-shit crazy and wants to be my best friend. So, I knock on the bedroom door, in hopes of startling her, and she just calmly looks up at me and says "oh my god, I'm so sorry". That's it. She turns the TV off, grabs her purse, and walks out the door. I mean honestly this happened to me. And no one was here to witness it. I immediately called my dad because I knew only he would appreciate it. Of course no one believes me. But, I know that this crazy situation happened, and I still just can't get over it. Priceless. Anyway, back to the food. For my Mountain Man's birthday, I made a Stacked Fried Green Tomato BLT Salad with Candied Bacon & Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. This salad is inspired from the ever-popular Savannah restaurant, the Olde Pink House. It was actually featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and it is the only thing I order when we go. I mean, what's better than fried green tomatoes, candied bacon, and ranch? I refuse to believe anything is. This salad hits the spot and it's the perfect little opener for an awesome dinner!! Enjoy :)
Fried Green Tomatoes + Candied Bacon... Nothin' Better
Stacked Fried Green Tomato BLT Salad with Candied Bacon & Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
½C Buttermilk, Well Shaken
¼C Sour Cream
¼C Mayo
4T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Large Shallot, Minced
1T Garlic, Minced
1T Sugar
4T Fresh Chives, Finely Minced
2T Fresh Dill, Finely Minced
1T Fresh Parsley, Finely Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Candied Bacon:
8 Strips of Thick Applewood Smoked Bacon
2t Light Brown Sugar (per slice of bacon)

For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
2 Green Tomatoes, Cut into ½inch Thick Slices & Patted Dry
1Q Peanut Oil, For Frying
2C AP Flour
1T Paprika
1T Chili Powder
1T Cajun Seasoning
1T Salt
3 Eggs
½C Buttermilk
1T Hot Sauce
1 Box of Panko Breadcrumbs
Salt, For Sprinkling

For the BLT Salad:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Baby Spring Mix
Prepared Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Candied Bacon
Diced Red Bell Pepper & Minced Green Onions, For Garnishing


1. For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved, and then add in the chives. Whisk until smooth and refrigerate until ready to toss with the lettuce.
2. For the Candied Bacon: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Sprinkle each slice of bacon with 2t of brown sugar. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway, flip the bacon over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until it is as dark as mahogany. Remove from the oven and cool the strips on a wire rack. Once the bacon is cool and crisp, chop into cubes.
3. For the Fried Green Tomatoes: Slice the tomatoes to about ½inch thick and place the slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes drain for 15-30 minutes. After they have drained, dry the tomatoes a little more with some paper towels, removing any excess moisture. Next, you have to set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins. For the first station, I mix the flour & the seasonings. For the second station, I whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. For the third station, pour the contents of one box of Panko breadcrumbs. Now, place the slices of dried green tomato into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko (making sure they are completely covered). Put the breaded slices on a tin foil-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, and then put the pan into the refrigerator and let the slices rest for about 15-30 minutes. Heat your deep fryer to 375 degrees with the peanut oil. Once the oil has heated, pull the chilled slices out of the refrigerator. Fry the slices for 4-7 minutes each (depending on the size of your fryer, mine is pretty small, so I do 2 at a time). The green tomatoes should be golden brown on the outside, but cooked, yet still firm on the inside. Once they are done frying return them to the same baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt immediately. Keep warm until you are ready to layer them in the salad.
4. For the BLT Salad: Toss the baby spring mix greens with some of the buttermilk ranch dressing. Place some of the salad in the center of plate; top with some candied bacon slices, and then place a fried green tomato on top of the bacon. Repeat this pattern, so that you have a stacked and layered salad. Drizzle some more buttermilk ranch dressing over the top and garnish with red bell pepper and green onions. 


  1. Can't wait to try this. Just returned home from Savannah where I had this for the first time...awesome!

    1. OH-MY I'm so jealous, I miss Savannah each + every day. I hope you just loved it, it's truly a magical place!