Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ahh Summer Tomatoes and Panzanella Salad!

The tomatoes are abundant! This year I grew seven different varieties of heirloom... Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Pink Caspian, Black Sea Man, Green Zebra, Red Zebra, and Pruden's Purple. Well it turned out my Pruden's Purple plant is actually another Brandywine, but that's OK.

My usual tomato salad consists of tomatoes, cucumbers (from someones garden if I have them, if not, the English variety) and my own basil or mint. Nick and I have discovered that we like mint in our tomato salad just a touch more than we like the basil. But both are delicious. Then a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! We have this every day when our tomatoes are ripe.

But yesterday, I decided to make a Panzanella Salad. It's a salad I love, and cannot find in too many restaurants. The dearly departed Serpico's on State Rd in Cuyahoga Falls had it on their menu and made it exactly how I wanted it. Not many restaurants will do that for you.

My Panzanella consisted of a big juicy Brandywine tomato, chopped fresh Mozzarella cheese, chopped fresh basil and cut up chunks of a delicious Ciabatta bread (Northeast Ohio folks, keep your eyes on that Orlando "Oops" rack in Marc's stores - I've gotten delicious Ciabatta loaves, french breads and OMG out of this world Asiago loaves!).

If I had to guess on proportions of the dressing I would say 2 Tablespoons of balsamic and 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. But honestly I just pour. Salt and pepper as you wish and toss. Once the salad is mixed, let it sit for a few minutes so the juices of the tomato combine with the dressing. Before serving, toss in your bread chunks. The dressing soaks into the bread and oh so delish! Don't do this too much before serving or you run the risk of soggy bread. It's still yummy, don't get me wrong. But it's better if it's still a little firm, I think so anyway.

Unfortunately my finished product picture came out blurry. I but hopefully you can still get the idea of it's juicy fresh deliciousness.

No comments: