Panzanella is one of the simplest summer dishes, typical of central Italy and in particular Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lazio. What we propose is the recipe considered traditional of Tuscany, although it is difficult to imagine a prevailing recipe throughout the Region. the truth is that each town has its own variations., based on many possible ingredients: olives, carrots, peppers, cheeses, anchovies, capers, tuna in oil and more.
the habit of Crumble the bread into more or less small pieces is characteristic of tuscany and part of theumbria. Many Tuscan panzanelles are made with almost crumbled bread.
In brands it is preferable to cut stale bread into thick slices that are lightly moistened and left whole. Add the other ingredients on top, sprinkling with the dressing sauce that ends up soaking and soaking the bread.
In it straight – and in particular in Rome – panzanella is very simple: just soaked bread cut into large pieces and seasoned with tomatoes, salt, oil, vinegar, pepper and basil. At most a little onion was added, which over time has become the norm. But today tuna in oil is also added, so that, in the end, the Roman panzanella is just as good as the others, although more basic.
The bread to be used is the so-called casereccio, with a lot of crumb and little crust. An exception is Rome, where the use of the ciriola prevails: a traditional sandwich with a compact crumb and a soft, thin crust.
About Cortexit is still debated if for panzanella it is better to remove it or not. The answer, and I give it to you with certainty, is: absolutely not! The crust is an important component in the overall flavor of the bread: it should never be removed.
Panzanella is traditionally served as appetizersbut it is also excellent as a replacement for First course or as single dish.
It seems that the name panzanella derives from the ancient custom of Tuscan workers and peasants to bring stale bread and vegetables from the home garden for lunch. After dipping the bread to make it chewy, it was eaten sitting on the banks of the ditches (zanelle in Tuscan dialect), whence “pan di zanella”.
- hard homemade bread
- New onions or spring onion
- firm red tomato
- Extra virgin olive oil
- optional ingredients: tuna in oil, hard-boiled eggs, raw peppers, oregano
- Cut the bread into slices and soak it in cold water. Then let it drain very well, even squeezing it slightly. Bread is properly wet when, placed on a plate, it is clearly very moist, but does not leave any moisture on the plate.
- Break the bread into large pieces according to taste. It can be reduced almost to crumbs as it is used in Tuscany, or in more or less large pieces as it is used in Umbria and Lazio. But it can also be left sliced whole, as is preferred in the Marche region. Once the bread is prepared, leave it in a bowl covered with a cloth.
- Cut the tomato and celery into cubes, cut the cucumber and onion and pour everything into a salad bowl. Add the hand-chopped basil, and season with oil, salt, and a generous grind of pepper. Stir, then put all the dressing to chill for 30-50 minutes in the fridge.
- When you are ready to serve the panzanella, add the bread to the salad bowl with the sauce. Complete with a dash of vinegar and another dash of oil, mix well and serve