Friday, June 24, 2011

Magic panzanella

Summer food at it's most honest....that is what panzanella is for me.  I have just begun to discover the wonderfully simple but complex food that makes up Italian cuisine.  It is so much more then any alfredo sauce or overcooked pasta you might have experienced in any eatery.  I remember on a jet lagged night sometime last year in Marina di Massa eating at an outdoor cafe I had a panzanella so good I thought it could never be recreated.  Well, I was wrong because I did it today.  I didn't even make it completely the proper way (mostly because my bread was not technically old, so it was not very hard.)  One should cut up the bread and soak it in water for a bit and then squeeze the excess water out....well I skipped this step entirely as I knew the bread was not hard enough to withstand all the liquids I would introduce to it.  Regardless it turned out rather good, but I only wish I had tomatoes from Italy rather then California.  Buon appetito!

Dice up the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and let drain for about 10 minutes

If you don't have old bread, cut yours up into thick slices and leave out uncovered for a day...this will get you the 'hard' bread you need

I used a mandolin to slice my red onions paper thin

To take away the bite of the onion soak in ice water with a bit of salt and a dash of vinegar

Mix the drained onion, celery, tomato, basil and parsley together

Add about 8 tablespoons of olive oil and 5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

I ran my bread chunks through my food processor to give me some finer crumbles of bread 

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil before serving

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