RCP Bernard Roth's Panzanella

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RCP Bernard Roth's Panzanella

Postby Jenise » Mon May 29, 2006 2:28 pm

In his thread "Summer Cravings", Paolo asked Bernard Roth what he puts in his panzanella. Here's his answer to a similar question on the old FLDG, and it's worth sharing.


Date: 28-Sep-2001 23:06
Author: Bernard Roth Email
Subject: Panzanella
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Tuscan bread salad is a perfect use of basil. You can prep everything before you leave, then toss the ingredients together at the stadium.

You will need cubes of day old bread (use a good country loaf made of white flour). Remove the crusts, optionally. Store these in a plastic bag. You need about 1/2 the total volume of salad as bread cubes (about 3/4 inch on a side).

Vinaigrette: Lots of EVOO, some red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. I like to marinate the chopped red onion in the vinaigrette as it moderates the onioniness.

Vegetable mixture: Lots of chopped vine-ripe tomatoes, cubes of cucumber, bite size pieces of bell pepper (use 2-3 colors), and lots of torn basil leaves.

Shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano: bag up a pretty generous amount of the cheese.

Bring a large salad bowl. At the stadium, combine the bread cubes with the tomato mixture using all the juice. The bread needs to rest with the juices until it begins to soften. Then add the vinaigrette in stages until the flavor of the salad is just right. You do not want to add so much that the bread becomes soaked and mushy. Bring the salt and pepper mill to adjust seasoning of the salad.

You can bring some mixed greens (e.g. torn red romaine and arugula). Serve the panzanella on top of a bed of greens and top each portion with shaved Reggiano.

Enjoy the salad, but I hope you lose the game!

--Bernie Roth
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP Bernard Roth's Panzanella

Postby Bernard Roth » Tue May 30, 2006 1:13 am

I'm flattered. But my sarcastic comment at the end should be read in context. I was responding to someone going to a ballgame to see a team that I was rooting against.

The biggest sin I repeatedly come across in panzanellas made in restaurants is that they almost always use toasted croutons instead of day old bread. Croutons give an incorrect texture, and the salad made from them has no right to be called panzanella.

Added note: the instructions were for transporting the salad fixin's to a stadium. When making panzanella at home, I crush the garlic and mince it and make the dressing in the salad bowl. I add the veggies and let them marinate for 20 minutes or so, then add the bread cubes and let stand another 5 minutes. At this point, I plate the salad on top of lettuce leaves and shave Reggiano on top. An extra drizzle of EVOO is perfect, as would be a few good olives.
Regards,
Bernard Roth
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