We are going to preface tonight's recipe combination with the following statement: frying sandwiches is no easy (or clean) task. It was a PAIN to put the sandwiches together then dip into our egg mixture. However, the Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches were worth the struggle.
The fresh bread we picked up from Virgilio's Bakery, coined Bread of the Fishermen, in Gloucester made the sandwich. There is no question about it. You need quality mozzarella and bread to really make this sandwich exceptional. The recipes requires few ingredients and would be easy to make if the sandwich wasn't so quick to fall apart when you try rolling it around in the bread crumbs. It's important to be quick-handed and not soak the sandwich in the egg for too long.
As always, we sourced fresh fennel, shallot, potatoes, and dill sprigs from our local farm store. After slicing and dicing your vegetables, the soup (like others in the book) is very simple to make and tasty. The fennel flavor is very strong so it's safe to say anyone who dislikes the taste in small doses will not like this soup. Thankfully we both enjoy it!
We skipped over the soup croutons in favor of dipping the sandwiches. The flavors were very tasty together. Though there are no bright or citrusy notes in either of these, the softer flavors together are very satisfying. This is a soup we would definitely make again in the future on it's own or for dipping. I'd even go as far as to say it'd be a great one to freeze and warm up for a future date.