Watermelon and crumbed mozzarella panzanella salad

Watermelon and crumbed mozzarella panzanella salad recipe

This watermelon and crumbed mozzarella panzanella salad is a delicious mix of sweet and savoury with rustic chunks of ciabatta, crispy fried cheese, heirloom tomatoes and fresh watermelon. It’s refreshing side that’s perfect for a summer lunch, and the varied flavours guarantee a dish that’s anything but boring.

 

Watermelon and crumbed mozzarella panzanella salad

Serves: 4 - 6
Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • Dressing

  • small handful fresh basil leaves
  • 80ml ( cup) olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 180g Greek yoghurt
  • 60ml (¼ cup) mayonnaise
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 5ml (1 tsp) sugar
  • Salad

  • 300g ciabatta
  • 20ml (4 tsp) olive oil
  • 400g heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 480g watermelon balls
  • ½ (about 80g) red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • Deep-fried mozzarella

  • 2 (300g) fresh mozzarella balls (fior di latte or buffalo mozzarella)
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) cake flour
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 60g panko breadcrumbs, seasoned
  • oil, to deep-fry
  • balsamic vinegar, to serve

Instructions

1

For the dressing, heat a pot of salted water. Blanch the basil leaves for 10 seconds and refresh in cold water. Strain. Use a hand blender to blitz the basil and 80ml ( cup) olive oil together until very fine. Strain through a muslin cloth, discard the leaves and season the green oil to taste. Whisk in the yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar.

2

For the salad, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the ciabatta into chubby wedges or tear into bite-size chunks. Drizzle with the 20ml (4 tsp) olive oil and season to taste. Spread out on a baking tray and bake until golden and crisp, 6 – 8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

3

Toss the bread chunks together with the remaining salad ingredients and season to taste. Set aside while you prepare the cheese.

4

For the mozzarella, drain and dry the cheese with a tea towel. Dip each ball into the flour, then the eggs and, lastly, into the seasoned breadcrumbs. Repeat with a second egg layer and panko layer. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep pot to 180°C. Once hot, fry the cheese until golden and crisp. Top the salad with slices of the fried cheese and serve with a side of dressing and balsamic vinegar.

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