Tag Archives: Basil

Panzanella – the classic Italian tomato and bread salad

If you’re a follower of my blog then you’ll know about my obsession with Italy and all things Italian. Particularly the food. The people of this very special place seem to have a magic touch when it comes to flavours and combinations. They can make the simplest dish taste like one of the most delicious things you’ve ever eaten.

Although the Caprese salad has a special place in my heart and is one of the first things I eat when I get to Italy, Panzanella is another classic Italian salad that proves you need not trade flavour and deliciousness for simplicity.

Now that we’re finally marching into summer here in New Zealand tomatoes will be gracing my fruit bowl (yes, they’re a fruit, not a vegetable) throughout the warmer months. And tomatoes are definitely the hero of this dish, along with the fabulous bread. Tomato and bread salad? Thank you, Italy!

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Sauce vierge – perfect in its simplicity

You’ve all heard the term “less is more”. When it comes to food and cooking it’s a motto to live by.┬áThat’s not to say complex and creative dishes don’t have their place. But there are times when paring it back is essential and the key to being a good cook is knowing when to do this.

I’ve mentioned previously that when I travel to Italy the first thing I eat is a Caprese salad. Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil. That’s it. Of course you could try and be creative and add other things. But why would you? It’s perfect just as it is.

This week I’m sticking with the combination of tomatoes and basil (an outstanding combination of the food world) but move from Italian to French cuisine to bring you sauce vierge. This sauce is another example of less is more – keep it simple and let the quality of the ingredients and their flavour carry the dish.

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