Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ciotola di Panzanella (Panzanella Bowls)

Well, I found it again…a recipe with pancetta and I really liked this recipe for the freshness and flavor. It’s an Italian BLT with all the ingredients and a great lunch or terrific tasting side to BBQ chicken.  So easy you can put together in under 30 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

• 4 large tomatoes, of different colors if available (about 3 pounds)

• 3 tablespoons or more red wine vinegar, divided

• Kosher salt

• Black pepper, freshly cracked

• 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup or more olive oil, garlic flavored (or infuse oil by adding garlic to heated oil and then cooling, or use olive oil and add garlic powder carefully to taste)

• 4 ounces grissini (bread sticks), thin, broken into 1/2-inch pieces

• 8 rounds pancetta (or slices of bacon)

Cut the top 1/4-inch off each tomato and reserve. With a serrated knife, cut the tomato meat away from the outside skin without cutting through completely. Scoop the membrane and seeds out with a spoon and transfer to a strainer set over a bowl to drain.

Season the hollowed tomatoes and the membrane in the strainer with a drizzle of vinegar and some salt and pepper.

Put onion slices in a small bowl and cover with 2 tablespoons vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let stand 10 minutes to remove some of the raw sharp flavor of the onion.

Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, garlic oil and 1/4 cup of the drained tomato water. Season with salt and pepper.

Coarsely chop the drained tomato and put in a mixing bowl. Drain the onions and add them along with the grissini pieces. Drizzle the dressing over the bowl and toss very well. Season again and add more oil, tomato water and vinegar, as needed, to evenly moisten the stuffing.

Stuff each tomato with 1/4 of the stuffing and garnish with the tomato tops. Chill until ready to serve.

Fry pancetta/bacon and set aside for assembly. Before serving, top with the crisp pancetta or bacon