Fried Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Appetizers, Dinner, Salads


I know a few days ago I was totally publicly flirting with Fall, talking about pumpkin this and cuddle that and apple cider whatever…and here I am posting this recipe with slices of heirloom tomatoes and fresh pesto.

I’m sort of all over the place, but that’s what you get during this awkward period between seasons. My brain isn’t sure what’s appropriate. My heart knows to look for cheese for the answers…

When I went to go categorize this post, I realized I don’t really do salads on this blog very often. It isn’t that I don’t like vegetables; there’s plenty of those around.

I think it’s the whole lettuce thing.

Sure, arugula is cool as a topping on pizza, a Caesar salad is always good, and butter lettuce tastes amazing…when drenched in buttermilk ranch dressing or something.

But mainly lettuce, for me, acts as this vessel for something more awesome than itself. So why not skip it all together?!

This salad does just that. Cheese…no, correction: fried cheese, tomatoes and pesto. There’s no catalyst. No middleman!!

Can we just not live in a world where salads have ingredients that are middlemen?!

This salad is pretty straight-forward–no crazy tricks or pro-tips, really. Just some friend cheese.

Oh there is a little info on the cheese I wanted to explain. In order to get that thick crust around the cheese, I dipped the piece of mozzarella in the egg and batter two times. That’s all. No biggie. Nothing major.

And yeah, I know frying stuff kinda sucks, but there’s melty cheese on the other side of this recipe and it’s so SO worth it.

Fried Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Yields 2 servings

Print this recipe!

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

Fried Mozzarella:
1 tomato
1 quart of canola oil
1 five ounce ball of mozzarella (low moisture, not water packed)
2 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon of oregano

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.
2. Slice the tomato in 1/2 inch slices and place on paper towels. This will absorb some of the tomatoes’ moisture.
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.
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 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.

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Leave a Reply

  • Avatar
    Reply Natashia@foodonpaper September 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Caprese is my FAVOURITE salad… this just looks so yum!!

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    Reply Katrina September 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Aww man, this sounds so yummy!!

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    Reply Jessica @ How Sweet September 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

    oh no you didn’t!

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    Reply Sue/the view from great island September 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

    This is pretty amazing. You’re right about being all over the place these days, one day I want stew, the next night I’m eating corn on the cob and tomatoes. In fact I had heirloom tomatoes and mozzerella last night, but nothing so grand as this.

  • Avatar
    Reply Bev Weidner September 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Stop it. Stop it now.

    My heart can’t take the beauty.

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    Reply Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray September 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    This. Is evil.

    Why is fried cheese so flipping good?

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    Reply kitty quintana September 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    This is mozzarella heaven; this looks fabulous! love the pics.

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    Reply tina September 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I die!!!!! nothing is better than fried cheese! gorgeous gorgeous photos A!

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    Reply kate September 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    omg the delicious! how did no one think to fry the cheese BEFORE!? yum!
    so i have a question though – what do you do with and how do you dispose of the fry oil? i don’t have a fancy vehicle that uses grease for fuel! :p

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna September 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      Oh people definitely did it before me! Fried mozzarella sticks? Fried goat cheese balls? I’m definitely not the inventor, though I wish I was. πŸ˜‰

      I let the oil come to room temperature and then dump it in a plastic container, seal it and then throw it away.

      • Avatar
        Reply kate September 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm

        haha yes people have fried cheese! i just mean in relation to ‘caprese’ with the tomato and the basil and pesto *drool*
        thanks! Thats what i was doing but figured i was doing it wrong… yay for accidentally doing it right!

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    Reply France September 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I love fried cheese but my favorite is haloumi, mostly because I can pan fry it with none of the hassles of breading it or using oil. The down side is you don’t get the gooey cheesy goodness that only melting style cheeses can give. Swoon.

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    Reply Amanda (onceuponarecipe) September 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Oy. This looks superb! I am all over that fried cheese.

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    Reply Dana B September 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    omg this looks fantastic!! Have never fried mozzarella, but will have to. (There’s a reason my waistline isn’t shrinking πŸ™ ) btw, have you tried adding a little romano to your pesto along with the parmesan-reggiano? It really makes or breaks pesto for me. Now I’m getting hungry so I better eat breakfast before I decide this salad is breakfast food. Then again, why not? πŸ™‚

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna September 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      I haven’t. I need to do this! Sounds delicious. Romano has a strong flavor so I bet it’d be amazing.

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    Reply Angharad September 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    This is a divine idea. I feel like my husband would get behind this salad in a big way. And anything that involves cheese, fried or not, sounds like an excellent idea to me.

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    Reply The food gospel according to ruth September 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    This could be the best salad recipe I have ever seen! Looks amazing…can’t wait to try it!

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    Reply Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook September 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    This looks amazing. Fried Mozzarella can’t be beat =D

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    Reply Erin September 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Oh my goodness. I love fresh mozzarella I bet it is even more amazing fried and stacked in this. Looks beautiful too!

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    Reply Jen of My Tiny Oven September 14, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Fried Cheese, Seriously! You are Awesome! My favorite salad made better!

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    Reply laura @ glutton for nourishment September 15, 2011 at 12:01 am

    YES. that is all.

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    Reply Lisa @ The Cooking Bride September 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. My mouth is hanging open. Everything is better fried. Everything.

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    Reply Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    What a great idea!! It looks so delicious! The tomato, pesto, mozz combo is my favorite… Ironically just posted about it.

    : )

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    Reply master blogger September 16, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for the recipe, I will now have a another dish to prepare on my Birthday. Thanks a lot!

    Zero Dramas

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    Reply seycil September 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Hi dear, i’m just wondering, would you mind if i put your recipe in my new website, i just starting this website about 3days ago..
    and i will link back the recipe to your blog.. it may help you got more views !

    Well let me know if you okay with that hun πŸ™‚
    contact me in my blog or visit the website where i want to put your recipe,

  • Avatar
    Reply Nik September 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Oh. My. GOD.

    You’re brilliant.

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    Reply Jessie September 29, 2011 at 1:54 am

    made this tonight for my husband and I with regular mozzarella and large meaty pink/red tomatoes. SSsssoo GOOD! loved how simple and quick it was too, hit the spot! Thank you again for the recipe, Adrianna. πŸ™‚

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    Reply Maria@La_Piattini September 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    What a beautiful presentation! My family (straight off the boat!) loves Caprese- it’s definitely one of our staples!

  • Avatar
    Reply jamie @ cueyourlife September 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    sweet. baby. jesus. I just had a, “I must go home. NOW. to make this salad. As in…NOW!”

  • Avatar
    Reply Richard D. Teasta December 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I made this for an appetizer at a Thanksgiving party my neighbors were having. It was such a hit that It seams that I sent over twenty people to this site for the recipe…Thank you!

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    Reply Veronica Cervera February 9, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Delicious. I have to try it.