Sunday, June 20, 2010

Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad)

So often in diverse cultures, it is the simple and unassuming dishes with a solid tradition that stand the test of time and become authentic recipe classics. So is Panzanella.

Share what was once a specialty in the Tuscany region of Italy, Panzanella has moved across Italy and picked up an array of extra ingredients along the way including lettuce, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red onion, cucumber, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice,garlic…oh, and don’t forget the wine.

If your into Panzanella, you are more than just creative, you are a magician!

This version of the recipe is from Lidia’s Italian Table and is featured in the June/July Market Issue of Saveur Magazine.

Warning: This salad is nothing to look at, in fact it’s quite a mess, but one bite and you’ll know that this is about as good as basic, regional cuisine gets.


2 lbs. medium tomatoes, cored and cut into small wedges

12 oz. country-style bread, torn into bite-size pieces and lightly toasted – crust removed

1 cup loosely packed baby arugula

10 fresh basil leaves, torn

1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bread, arugula, basil, and onions.

In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the oil, vinegar, and garlic; drizzle dressing over salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, toss to combine, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

An after thought on Saveur Magazine:

I love Saveur Magazine, not only because it’s a passport to the world of food (I especially LOVE the photographs), but it also stages some of the greatest recipes.

I think of all the issues that Saveur Magazine has done over the years, the June/July 2010 Market Issue is their very best issue ever.

As you can tell from some of my postings, I am motivated by Framers Markets and street vendors. While living in Mexico, I also enjoyed some of the larger markets such as Mercado Libertad in Guadalajara where you can find fruit and vegetable stalls with produce you’ve never seen or heard of before.

If you get a chance, pick up this issue. You will be not only be absolutely educated on the foods of the world but you will also be TOTALLY INSPIRED!

Bon Appetit!