An Italian summertime icon takes a non-traditional twist at Florence’s Cordon Bleu cooking school. Chef David Bonucci reinterprets the Tuscan panzanella, a bread and tomato salad into a riff of dishes that encourage you not to throw away your stale bread. Yes, stale bread is a storied ingredient in Italian cooking used throughout Italy and one of the main ingredients in a Tuscan panzanella. From meatballs to ribollita to pappa al pomodoro to Italy’s Sudtirol dumpling-like canederli, stale bread is a staple in the Italian kitchen. So re-purposing it twice over is a nuovo Italiano chef’s delight.
One of 6 dishes from Chef Bonucci’s culinary re-purposing of panzanella includes a Panazella Shot make with an emulsion of tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and xanthan gum (2 g every 0.5 l). He prepares a slice of bread garnish by adding a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bread slice. Season with salt and pepper and toast them at 100°C. Sprinkle the toasted slices with a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Pour a little of the tomato smoothie in a glass, add a few drops of pesto and the slice of toast. Decorate with a sprig of chives. A nice addition to a summertime antipasto that will have your guests wondering at what Italian cooking school have you been studying.