Italian Fried Mozzarella Sticks with Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce
A must-have appetizer on any menu, these Italian-style mozzarella sticks are simply irresistible.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 2 red bell peppers
- 4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
- ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
- ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh basil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
- 8 oz (250 g) Galbani Professionale ® Pizza Mozzarella 22% Block
- 1 cup (250 mL) bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried Italian seasoning blend
- ¼ cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Canola oil, for deep-frying
- ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Preheat broiler. Arrange peppers on foil-lined baking sheet. Slice sliver from tip of each garlic clove; add to baking sheet with peppers.
- Broil, turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until red peppers are charred all over and garlic is tender. Transfer peppers to heatproof bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove skins, seeds and stems from peppers. Squeeze out garlic from skins.
- In food processor, pulse together roasted peppers, roasted garlic, oil, basil, vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Mozzarella Sticks: Cut mozzarella into 3 x 1 x ½-inch (8 x 2.5 x 1 cm) sticks.
- In shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Dredge mozzarella fingers in flour, dip in egg, then coat in bread crumb mixture.
- Deep-fry breaded mozzarella sticks in oil preheated to 350ºF (180ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown all over. Transfer to paper towel–lined tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Serve mozzarella sticks with red pepper sauce for dipping.
Substitute balsamic vinegar for red wine vinegar if desired.