Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Post - Ode to Root Beer and Panzanella Salad

Welcome to Sundown in the Garden!
Now, I was looking for that last can of root beer! I looked in the fridge, in the pantry, in the cellar and in the garage, but nothing!
I can't believe that I drank that last can!
Sure, I have some delicious mozzarella cheese, Parma ham and pecorino from Tuscany, but I don't have a single root beer can.
You would say: go out and buy a 6-pack and stop complaining!
The problem is, you cannot find root beer in Italy, no way!
I have to buy it online and it is extremely expensive, but then, when I open a can and pour that sweet and foamy delight in my tall glass, ahhh...I am smacking my lips!
I would never dream of sharing my precious can with another one, simply because I was told that root beer tastes like untrue!
The best root beer I ever tasted was in St. Louis, MO and will never forget how good it was
But here? Again, no way!
I'll just have to go to my garden and pick some ripe tomatoes and cucumbers: I will try to forget my lack of root beer with a panzanella salad

Panzanella - Tuscan bread salad 
serves 4 
1/2 loaf dry tuscan loaf (without salt)
2 cucumbers
2 big tomatoes or about 10 small ones
1 medium red onion
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
Water for soaking

Put the bread in a large bowl and cover with water.
Let stand until all bread is drenched with water, about 5 to 10 minutes
Peel off the crust and squeeze the excess water from the bread.
Put in another large bowl and fluff up the bread between your fingers
Peel and slice thinly the cucumber, then add to bread
Dice the tomatoes and add to bread
Slice the onion very thin, then add to bread
Add vinegar, oil and salt
Add torn basil leaves
Toss well and store in the fridge until ready to serve
You may want to add a little more oil
Panzanella can be served as appetizer or main dish

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