Okay, so here ’tis, the first post of Vegan MoFo! The MoFo is when a whole messload of vegan bloggy bloggers get together and try to make 20 posts in 30 days. I may fail. But dammit, I will try.
New followers to this blog should know I am a real Eye-talian. Proof: Some pictures of my family.
Here’s a shot of my Neopolitano great-grandpa with my mom as a baby.
That’s my grandpa Rocco on the right with his brothers, recently emigrated from Napoli.
Mi famiglia harvesting vegetables in the family garden. My grandpa is on the lower left.
Mi nonna Lucia e mi nonno Rocco.
My great-grandparents from Sicily.
My grandma Lucia in on the right on front. As usual, my family is around the kitchen table.
Molto Italiano, right? I’m sayin’. Still not convinced? Ok, here’s an embarrassing picture of me in my younger years, living life as I should: on a vespa in Tuscany.
Well, that’s enough of that. So, there have been, and will be, many Italian recipes on this site. With that in mind, I thought I could start Vegan MoFo with one of my favorites, and a classic. There are many varieties of panzanella, aka the Italian bread salad. This take is based loosely on a Lidia Bastianich recipe, but mine uses rosemary, and, different from some recipes, I roast my garlic slightly to give it a fuller flavor.
|• 1 medium round of crusty bread, torn into pieces
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves minced garlic
• 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
• 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
|• 8 roma tomatoes, cored and sliced into small wedges
• 1 cup baby arugula
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Tear bread into small pieces, lay on baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and add minced garlic. Turn off heat as soon as garlic becomes lightly browned– it is important not to let the garlic burn. Immediately add rosemary. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, add red wine vinegar.
3. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, arugula, and basil, to the toasted bread.
4. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over, and toss with bread. Season generously with salt and pepper. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
So, if you’re looking for a change to the same boring salad, try this recipe. It’s super easy and tastes amazing.