Softly Enveloped Mozzarella With Crunchy Herb Croûtons
This is a very Mediterranean dish for a quick lunch, and a great way to use up any stale bread. The contrast of the soft, cheese-filled parcels and the crunchy fried bread is excellent.
The idea for soaking sultanas in Aperol comes from Amy Bryant in The Telegraph Magazine. I wasn’t too convinced when I read about it, but when I tried it I found it gave the dried grapes an intriguingly savoury taste.
Recipe for salami-enveloped mozzarella with herb croûtons
- 12gg/5 oz mozzarella (drained weight)
- 6 pieces of elliptical shape (effectively two circles) salami
- 60g/4 tbsp/¼ cup of black olive paste – tapenade
- About ten basil leaves, and a few sprigs of thyme
- 20 sultanas soaked in a tbsp. of Aperol or Earl Grey tea
- 60g/2 oz rocket, roughly chopped
- 40g/⅓ cup of plain flour seasoned only with freshly ground pepper, no salt
- 1 egg
- Olive oil for frying
- 75g/2.5 oz stale bread – ideally olive ciabatta, diced quite small, including the crust.
- Put your plates in to warm.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl, and empty the pepper-seasoned flour into another
- Begin to heat a frying pan with a little olive oil in it
Slice the mozzarella into as many slices as you can – I can just manage five – if one looks smaller, allocate any broken off bits to that one.
- Coat one side of the mozzarella slice with about a tsp of tapenade, and put, tapenade side down on one half of the salami. Coat the other face of the slice with a bit more tapenade. Fold over the salami to encase the mozzarella.
- Dip first in the beaten egg, then in the flour and fry.
- Snip the leaves of the herbs into the diced bread, and add to the frying pan – slurp over a slug more of olive oil – enough to get the bread frying and golden.
- Meanwhile continue making and frying the mozzarella envelopes.
- If you have any beaten egg left over, dribble over the frying croûtons, and mix in with them
- Serve the envelopes with the croûtons mixed in with the shredded rocket and the soaked sultanas.