A few weeks ago I found this
and wanted to try making my own version of it. Orzo salad, napa salad and this salad have all been added to the only make for parties and when you're alone list.
1 cup of basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Handful of walnuts
1/4 cup of Parmesan-Reggiano
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
I used jarred pesto to simplify the dish (use as little or as much as you like, I used about 2 Tablespoons on 1 serving). I do love fresh pesto and have made it many times, in which I prefer to use pine nuts instead of walnuts.
1 tomato/I used a roma tomato because I like their flavor
1 quart of canola oil/I only used about 3/4 cup of oil, not sure why they needed that much
1 five ounce ball of mozzarella (low moisture, not water packed)/
I used reduced fat mozzarella
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper/did not use
1/2 teaspoon of oregano/used dry basil instead
1. In a food processor, add the basil, garlic, pine nuts (or walnuts), Parmesan, and pulse until chopped. With the processor on low, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until completely combined. Taste the pesto and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside./ skipped since I used jarred pesto
2. Slice the tomato in 1/2 inch slices and place on paper towels. This will absorb some of the tomatoes’ moisture./ since roma tomatoes are less juicy I did not need to dry them.
3. Prep a plate with a few layers of paper towels. Fill a 10″ cast iron pan with 4 inches of oil, about 2 quarts, and heat oil to 350F./ I used a regular frying pan and only about 1/2 inch of oil, which sufficiently covered the mozzarella.
4. While it’s heating up, slice the mozzarella into 1/2 inch slices. Prep bowl with beaten egg. On a plate, combine bread crumbs, crushed red pepper, oregano, basil and salt (if needed). Note: Try your mozzarella. If there’s a lot of salt, chill on the salt. Don’t add any. If the mozzarella has no salt, then add about 1/4 teaspoon to the bread crumb mixture.
5. Double-dip mozzarella by dipping in the beaten eggs, then bread crumbs and repeating the step. This will give you a thick delicious crust.
6. Gently drop the mozzarella into hot oil using a slotted spoon and fry, about 30 seconds, or until golden brown. Turn the mozzarella and allow to fry on the other side for another 30 seconds.
7. Transfer to the paper toweled plate to drain.
8. Grab a plate and stack tomatoes and mozzarella in whatever fashion you like. Top with pesto and a crack of black pepper.
All modifications in black and bolded.