Mozzarella in Carozza with Warm Zucchini Salad
After one bite of these sammies, you'll never look at grilled cheese the same again.
- 1/4 cup (about 6 tomatoes) sun-dried tomatoes
- 12 slices white bread
- 6 thin slices fresh mozzarella
- 16 large basil leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 to 4 small zucchini, sliced into thin circles
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 4 to 5 scallions, thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup (about a handful) Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup (about a palmful) chopped mint, chopped
Yields: 4 servings
Bring a tea kettle or small pot of water to a boil. Place your sun-dried tomatoes into a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let them sit for a couple of minutes to plump up a bit.
While the tomatoes are working, lay the bread out on a work surface. With a large, round cookie cutter (if you don't have one, use a coffee mug – that'll work just fine too) and cut circles from the middle of each slice.
On six of the cut-out pieces, lay down 2 basil leaves and one slice of mozzarella. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from their water bath, give them a blot with a paper towel to get rid of the excess water and run a knife through them to chop them up. Lay some of the chopped tomatoes over each sandwich and give each a shot of salt and ground black pepper. Top the sandwiches with the remaining cut-out bread slices and set them aside.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. While the pan is heating up, fill a shallow dish with the flour and another with the eggs. Carefully dust one sandwich in the flour (make sure it stays together!) then run it through the egg wash. Once coated, add to the heated pan. Continue coating the remaining sandwiches until they’re all covered and in the skillet. Cook until golden brown and the cheese starts to melt, about 3 minutes per side. Once the sandwiches are done cooking, remove them to a plate and give them a light sprinkle of salt.
While the sandwiches are cooking up in the pan, prepare the zucchini salad by placing a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Toss the zucchini, garlic and scallions into the pan and cook until the zucchini is tender but still has some bite to it, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the herbs, some salt and ground black pepper. Serve the salad warm alongside the sandwiches.
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