2000s Recipes + Menus

Fried Mozzarella with Arugula and Prosciutto

Serves4 (main course)
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:25 min
July 2008
Who says main dishes have to be conventional? Here, prosciutto moves aside to put the cheese front and center, and an array of antipasto staples frame the crisp, gooey fried mozzarella. An aromatic anchovy vinaigrette ties it all together.
  • 2 bunches arugula (3/4 lb total), coarse stems discarded
  • 5 oz thinly sliced prosciutto (8 to 12 slices)
  • 1 (7-oz) jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and torn into large pieces
  • 1/3 cup brine-cured black olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • About 2 cups olive oil for frying
  • 1 lb salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 thick slices (without rounded ends)
  • Divide arugula into 8 small bunches and loosely wrap each with 1 or 2 slices prosciutto. Divide among 4 plates with roasted peppers, olives, and onion.
  • Whisk together vinegar, anchovy, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Whisk in extra-virgin oil.
  • Whisk egg whites with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a shallow bowl. Put bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Double-coat each slice of cheese by dipping in egg mixture, then crumbs, and repeating. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat 1/2 inch olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry coated mozzarella, turning carefully once or twice, until golden and cheese starts to melt but still retains its shape, about 2 minutes total. Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to plates.
  • Drizzle everything with vinaigrette.
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