Fried Caprese Bombs

Ingredients:

  • 6 golf ball-sized tomatoes
  • 6 (1-inch or ½-inch-sized) fresh mozzarella balls, drained and dried
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Vegetable or canola oil, to fry
  • Chopped basil leaves, to garnish
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Using an apple corer or melon baller, gently scoop out the centers of the tomatoes and discard. Carefully push a mozzarella ball or two into each hollowed tomato, being careful as to not rip the tomato itself. Repeat until all the tomatoes and mozzarella have been used.
  • Pour the flour in a small bowl and pour the breadcrumbs in another. In a third bowl, beat the eggs together with the milk.
  • Dip each tomato into the flour and roll, coating it evenly, then dip each into the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  • In a high-walled, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat ½ inch of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Fry the tomatoes in batches, turning until each one is evenly golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain out any excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Make the balsamic dip: Pour the olive oil into a small, shallow pan over medium-low heat. Once warm, pour the oil into a small bowl and add the garlic, oregano, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper.
  • Sprinkle the Caprese bombs with sea salt and chopped basil. Serve warm with balsamic dip on the side. 
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