Ingredients

Orange Dressing:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad:
1 bulb fennel
4 cups mesclun salad mix
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 (8-ounce) piece mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
Chopped fresh fennel fronds for garnish

Directions

1. Prepare Orange Dressing: In a shaker jar, combine orange juice, oil, chives and salt and pepper. Cover and shake well; set aside.
2. Prepare Salad: Wash fennel and trim off any blemishes. Trim leafy end of fennel bulb to within 1 inch of the head; reserving a few of the fronds. Trim a thin slice from the bottom end of the bulb. Quarter fennel; cut into julienne sticks. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, fennel and grapes.
3. Cut mozzarella cheese into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place bread crumbs on a plate. Break the egg into a small bowl; add water. Beat mixture lightly with a fork. Dip each cheese slice in egg mixture to coat, then into breadcrumbs to coat all sides. Place coated cheese slices on a wax-paper-lined tray.
4. Toss salad with the dressing. Spoon salad mixture onto 4 salad plates. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil; add cheese slices. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Using a metal spatula, immediately transfer 2 cheese slices to each salad plate. Sprinkle chopped fennel fronds over salads and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of Freida's, The Specialty Produce People.

Do not use fresh mozzarella in this dish, but rather the firmer variety used for pizzas.

Fried Mozzarella, Fennel, and Grape Salad
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