Recipe from The Tra Vigne Cookbook by Michael Chiarello and Penelope Wisner/Chronicle Books.
Who says you can't fry ahead of time. The coating I suggest here, made with Arborio rice flour (nothing so very exotic, just rice pulverized in a blender), stays crisp and has a wonderful, sweet crunchiness. Served as is, the salad makes a great lunch. Add calamari or rock shrimp that have been dipped in buttermilk, dredged in the same coating as the vegetables, and fried, and the salad easily becomes a substantial main dish. If possible, make the dressing an hour or more ahead of time to give it an opportunity to thicken up in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days in a tightly sealed nonreactive container.
If you like to deep-fry, I strongly recommend an electric deep fryer. For a small investment you have the safety of temperature-controlled oil. And oil of even temperature is the secret to the best fried foods: crisp, not oily or soggy. Even temperature control also prevents oil from boiling over. If health is a concern, fry in pure olive oil. Also, be sure to put the fryer under the stove hood or as close to it as you can get. The exhaust will remove fumes, but there is another safety reason as well. If you have children in the house, they are accustomed to being warned away from the stove. If you fry on an open countertop, you run the risk of a curious child pulling on the handle of the fryer. Add only a few pieces of food at a time to the hot oil and don't drop them from any height. You don't want to get spattered.