Neven Maguire's Mozzarella Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce.


Serves 4

  • 120g breadcrumbs made from day-old sourdough bread
    2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    2 tbsp coarsely chopped rocket
    1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
    25g plain flour
    1 egg
    4 x 100g (4oz) balls Toons bridge buffalo mozzarella
    olive oil, for shallow frying

For the sauce

  • 1 small head garlic 
  • 225g ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375F), Gas mark 5. To prepare the sauce, cut off and discard the top quarter of the garlic head and wrap the remainder in foil.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add the red pepper and the foil wrapped garlic to the sheet and roast for 1 hour until the tomatoes are just beginning to char nicely, the garlic is completely tender and the red pepper is cooked through with blacked skin.
  3. Transfer the pepper to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, then leave to stand for 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the core and seeds.
  4. Place the flesh in a food processor with the tomatoes. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the roasted cloves from the skin into the food processor.
  5. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and blend until smooth. This can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept in a bowl covered with clingfilm in the fridge.
  6. To make the fritters, mix the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish with the parsley, rocket and lemon rind, then season to taste. Season the flour and tip on to a flat plate. Lightly beat the egg in a shallow dish. 
  7. Tear each buffalo mozzarella into four pieces, then dust in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Tip in the beaten egg and then coat in the flavoured breadcrumbs.
  8. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment and chill for at least 2 hours to firm up or overnight is fine.
  9. When ready to cook, pour 5cm (2in) of the olive oil into a large pan or heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C (350F) or until a small piece of white bread dropped into the oil browns and rises to the surface in about 1 minute.
  10. Deep-fry the mozzarella fritters for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper. You have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. 
  11. Warm the sauce in a small pan over a gentle heat and spoon a pool on to each warmed plate. Arrange four pieces of the mozzarella fitters on top to serve.
  12. The remainder of the sauce can be served in a small bowl at the table so that guests can help themselves.