Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Panko Crusted Veggie & Mozzarella
with
Arugula Pesto
 As Autumn approaches with it's cool crisp air, it signifies time for getting back into our daily routine from a laid back  lifestyle.

Personally it is the
"most wonderful time of the year"
for me.
I have the house to myself
as everyone heads back to school!
 
Quite time for coffee or tea depending on my mood and then I can decide what my schedule will be like for the day.
My only vegetable in my so called "garden" this year consisted of 2 plants of zucchini.
I don't have space for gardening nor do I want the work of a garden anymore as I used to have a very large one.
My plants gave me a prolific amount of zucchini blossoms and zucchinis!
Some I ate, some I baked into sweets and some I stored for winter months.
One of my favourite sides is breaded and fried veggies.
I only make them once a year so eating them now doesn't make me feel guilty.
This recipe, I used for lunches and it is delish
hot or cold!
But,
you could use this recipe for a side dish too.  
Cut into finger lengths, it is fabulous for appetizers as well.

As a side note:
It is difficult for me to get my growing men to eat veggies!
They are huge carnivores.
Having said that, they were so amazed at this hot sandwich that when I asked "do you miss the meat?" and "you know you're eating vegetables".

They actually said this was one of the best sandwiches they had every eaten.
It may have something to do with oozing cheese and the pesto is to die for!
 
My mom's response to this enigma?~
Kids will eat anything that is fried!

So here is my huge summer discovery...
  Panko Crusted Zucchini & Mozz
with
Arugula Pesto


Crust 

2 cup panko, bread crumb 
1 tsp each garlic powder and dried oregano
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt

1/2 cup flour for dredging


Egg Wash 

2 lg. eggs             
1/2 tsp each garlic powder & dried oregano 
1 tbsp water      
pinch of salt
  Vegetables

 
1  Chinese eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2" rounds

4,  1/2" slices mozzarella
1  Olive Ciabatta  loaf, cut lengthwise
vegetable oil, for frying

Pesto 

2 cup washed fresh basil
2 cup washed fresh arugula                        
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts                                          1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled

Preparation;
Place all pesto ingredients into a food processor and puree. If the mixture is too dry add some more oil. Set aside.

Make a dredging station using 3 pie plates.
Combine bread crumb mixture into a pie plate. Mix and set aside.
Pour flour into another pie plate.  Whisk egg wash ingredients together into remaining plate, set aside.

Dip a piece of vegetable into the flour, coating both sides.  Dip into the egg wash mixture and press into the bread coating both sides. Continue until all vegetables are coated.

Dredge and coat the mozzarella with the same breading station. Set aside.

Preheat a skillet on medium high heat with 1" of vegetable oil. *Test for temperature by dropping in a crumb. If the crumb immediately floats and begins to sizzle the oil is ready*

Fry all vegetables until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Assembly:

Spread a generous amount of Pesto on both sides of bread.

Layer alternating vegetables, overlapping slightly, filling the loaf.

Meanwhile fry the mozzarella quickly and drain slightly. 
Place on top of the vegetables and top with the bread.
Cut into 1/3's or 1/2.
Serves 2 or 3 

Enjoy with love!

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