Tomato Salad with Toasted Mozzarella Croquettes

“With so many varieties of heirloom tomatoes available at this time of year, I always like to use several different types in my dishes,” says James Laird, executive chef of Restaurant Serenade in Chatham. “Feel free to use any mix of tomatoes that you find in the market.”

Serves: 4


For the tomatoes:
1    medium purple Cherokee tomato, quartered
2    medium German candy striped tomatoes, quartered
2    small Green Zebra tomatoes, cut in half
1    tablespoon opal basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
      extra virgin olive oil
      sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.     Combine tomatoes in non-reactive baking dish.
2.     Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3.     Toss lightly in olive oil.
4.     Place in medium oven until just warm.
5.     Remove from oven and toss with basil.
6.     Divide amount four plates.


For the croquettes:
8     small fresh mozzarella balls (or ½-inch slices of a large one)
½    cup Wondra flour
2     eggs beaten
1     cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2  cup canola or other neutral oil
       salt and pepper to taste


1.    Bread mozzarella balls: flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs.
2.    Heat oil in medium sauté pan.
3.    Brown mozzarella balls in oil until brown on all sides.
4.    Place two balls on top of each portion of salad.

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