Wine Dharma

DharMag August 2016 How to make the real panzanella like a Tuscan chef? Let's find it with his delicious recipe!

Panzanella original recipe, dish with bread, onion, tomato and cucumber, summer How to prepare the original Panzanella? We asked a Florentine chef how to make the perfect Panzanella recipe and he was so nice to give us his secret recipe.

Making Panzanella is a ritual, the recipe itself is not a big deal and won’t find any, but some tricks can help you.

First of all, respect for the original Tuscan recipe, but Panzanella lends itself to experimentation: being a raw recipe you can customize it with your favorite vegetables and aromatic herbs.

Just remember that to prepare the perfect Panzanella you must use seasonal vegetables, an amazing Evo, and some aromatic herbs to make the dish even more delicious.

After all, it’s just stale Tuscan bread seasoned with olive oil and vegetables… but if it is one of the famous Tuscan recipes in the world there must be a reason, so let’s find it!

Ingredients for making Tuscan Panzanella

  • 1 kg of stale Tuscan bread
  • 2 Tropea onions or simple red onions
  • 1 fresh cucumber
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 3 celery hearts
  • a dozen cherry tomatoes
  • ½ liter of water
  • 200 ml of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • optional: pecorino cheese or tuna bites

How to make the real, Tuscan Panzanella

Remove the crust from the bread and cut into cubes, not too small and put in the refrigerator covered with a cloth for a day.

After that, put water, salt, and vinegar in a bowl, soak quickly the bread cubes and squeeze them well until they start crumbling.

Cut onions into julienne and soak them in water and vinegar for about 30 minutes, to make them lose the strong flavor. In the meantime, cut the rest of the vegetables into small cubes and tomatoes into wedges.

Put dry onions with some paper and add it to the vegetables, add the mixture to the bread cubes, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and tear basil with your fingers.

If you want to try an unconventional, but super tasty, Panzanella add some tuna in oil and Tuscan pecorino cheese cut with a potato peeler. Some fresh fennel slices add an incredible touch too. Keep experimenting!

The perfect extra virgin olive oil for Panzanella

To enhance the chemistry between tomatoes and basil we’ve used Frantoio Turchi extra virgin olive oil. A sweet and velvety oil, delicate, with almonds in the background and a good balance between spiciness and bitterness.

What wine matches well with Panzanella?

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Montenidoli Fiore: simply one of the best Vernaccia you can find in the lovely hills of San Gimignano. A fine white wine with subtle notes of broom and pastry, plenty of herbs and a stunning, all around drinkability.

If you want to pair a cocktail, let’s pair a Mojito.

Photo credits