300 g (10 oz) bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls), drained
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons fresh ready-made green pesto
200 g (7 oz) fresh mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Make the pesto aïoli by mixing together all the ingredients. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, a few chilli flakes, a sprinkling of the thyme and some seasoning. Place the flour in a second bowl and the eggs in a third.
Pat the mozzarella balls dry with kitchen paper. Roll the balls first in flour, then dip in the egg, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat in the egg and breadcrumbs to create a double layer.
Half fill a saucepan or deep-fat fryer with vegetable oil. Just before serving, heat over a high heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F) or a cube of bread sizzles and turns golden in 10–15 seconds. Using a spider strainer or slotted spoon, lower the crumbed mozzarella into the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.