Panzanella is one of the icons of the Tuscan Summer: a Tuscan bread salad made with onions, tomatoes, sometimes cucumber, and basil, all topped off with extra-virgin olive oil and a bit of white wine vinegar. That's it!
I recently sneaked in a very special cooking class at the Cordon Bleu cooking school of Florence to participate in a professional class "Do not throw bread away" led by the Chef David Bonucci. We prepared 6 dishes using Tuscan stale bread (vegetable tarts, meatballs, canederli + different versions of panzanella). If you love traditional Tuscan flavours but at the same time you're looking for new summer dishes, these recipes are for you:
Ingredients Serves: 5 1. 20 slices of stale bread, cut into thin slices 2. Tomatoes 300 g 3. 1 white or red onion 4. Basil, pine nuts, pecorino and extra-virgin olive oil
Method - Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bread slices and toast them at 100°C - Season the tomatoes with oil, salt and pepper - Blanch the onions in a little water, vinegar and sugar - Blend the basil, pine nuts, pecorino cheese and extra-virgin olive oil to make a light pesto - Sprinkle drops of vinegar on the toast - Spread a tablespoon of pesto on the plate and overlay four slices of bread, tomatoes, onions and pesto
Ingredients 1. Tomato 2. Extra-virgin olive oil 3. A sprig of chives 4. Vinegar 5. Basil, pine nuts, pecorino and extra-virgin olive oil 6. Sliced bread 7. Xanthan gum
Method - Blend the tomatoes with oil, salt, pepper and xanthan gum (2 g every 0.5 l) - Blend the basil, pine nuts, pecorino cheese and extra-virgin olive oil to make a light pesto - Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bread slices. Season with salt and pepper and toast them at 100°C - Sprinkle drops of vinegar on the toast - Put a little tomato smoothie in a glass, a few drops of pesto and a slice of toast. Decorate with a sprig of chives
Cut a high slice of bread. Remove the crust and crop a circle in the soft part of the bread. Roast the bread slice in a pan with olive oil. Wrap the bread in a thin slice of cucumber and top with chopped onion, tomato and pesto.
About the Cordon Bleu School The Cordon Bleu school runs a range of amateur and professional courses, themed workshops as well as team building courses for companies in Florence. The courses are aimed at housewives, young learners, managers, foreigners, food lovers and aspiring professional cooks.