Fried Mozzarella, Zucchini, Basil and Green Olives
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 5 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella
- 1 large zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups panko bread crumbs
- 4 whole eggs
- 15 large basil leaves
- 20 large pitted green olives
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
Pour about 2 inches of vegetable oil into a large, high-sided skillet, add the garlic cloves and place over medium high heat. Heat the oil until 375 degrees F. As the oil heats it will become infused with garlic flavor; once the garlic is browned, remove and reserve it. While the oil is heating up prepare the mozzarella, zucchini, basil and a breading station.
Cut the ball of mozzarella in quarters lengthwise. Cut each quarter into 1 by 1-inch pieces. Trim the ends off of the zucchini and then thinly slice into 1/4-inch thick disks. For the breading station, arrange 3 large shallow bowls near the heating oil. Place the flour in 1and the bread crumbs in another. Crack and beat the eggs in the remaining bowl with a splash of water or milk.
Add the mozzarella cubes to the flour, toss to coat, shake off excess and then transfer to the egg. Coat the mozzarella in the egg then transfer to the panko bread crumbs, coating thoroughly. Carefully drop the coated mozzarella into the hot oil and fry turning at least once until golden brown. Once brown transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain, sprinkle with salt while still piping hot.
For the olives, simply repeat the same process.
Arrange all of the fried items on a platter and serve with lemon wedges
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence