Tomato Carriage

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

No matter how many beautiful tomatoes a person raises in August, those late-summer beauties are still cherished—even more so, it seems, when you know the season is hastening on. Before summer produce departs, try giving your fresh tomatoes a lift toward a full meal by serving them with mozzarella in carrozza. Meaning “mozzarella in a carriage,” these are delightfully toasty little sandwiches made from balls of fresh mozzarella. Dipped in milk, flour and egg, they are then crisped golden on the outside while the mozzarella remains milky and fresh inside, oozing into the bread. To describe this as an Italian grilled cheese doesn’t fully do it justice. I like to serve mine cut into rounds, like carriage wheels, so each bit of bread is sure to have cheese with it. It’s the perfect way to transition between those summer Caprese salads and the wintery classic of tomato soup and grilled cheese. One taste and you’ll see how these little carriages can transport a few choice ingredients into an end-of-season meal that everyone will be on board with.

 

Mozzarella in Carrozza

 

8 slices white bread, preferably day-old

4 ounces fresh mozzarella

½ cup whole milk

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

salt and pepper

olive oil for frying

 

Slice the mozzarella into ¼-inch thick rounds. Use a biscuit cutter to remove the crusts from the bread slices, forming circles slightly larger than the cheese. Place the milk in a shallow dish, the flour in another and the egg in a third. Beat the egg, and season with salt and pepper.

Film a frying pan with olive oil and warm it over medium heat.

Dip each sandwich briefly into the milk, then dredge through the flour, then dip in the beaten egg, being sure to coat both sides at each station.

Fry the sandwiches in the hot olive oil until the outsides are crisp and golden and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

 

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

 

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