Cooking is a Major Factor of Survival

 Okay today is September 4th, 2010

I have found and experienced  more interesting dishes that are variations of the Tuscan Panzanella Salad.

I attended a wonderful cooking lesson at King’s SuperMarket on August 25th with a wonderful chef-instructor, Daniel Rosati:  Is the owner of  La Villa Cucina. At his website you can find about his diversified background: http://www.lavillacucina.com/pages/about.html. He is truly an artist respecting different cultures and cooking traditions of the world and their contributions. He skillfully weavess these elements and creates an exquisite dish that your family will enjoy. His dishes have become part of my repertoire. They are prepared with fresh ingredients and cook with a great deal of thought for our health and gustatory delights.

I had the pleasure to work with Danny at Kings Cooking Studios in Verona in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. He  is  one of the most creative chefs around and I had the pleasure to work with him .  When I knew him in the early 90’s, he was opening his culinary  school in Italy and working different cooking studios in the area.

 

I just love his cooking because it is based in tradition with a wonderful twist that makes it uniquely Daniel Rosati creation. 

 

June 26th

Went to dinner this eveing at a restaurant in Caldwell  FORTE

I ordered a simple dish and so did my husband 

So let me tell you why I would put this restaurant on my PISSED OFF LIST…..

Chicken piccata is an easy dish to prepare and also is very flavorful.  the dish should not be salty or on the pucker list.

The chicken should not be blanched or white as the driven snow…

The dish should have some color and sauteing is important in the preparation of  this dish

This may be thought of as a funny way to promote good healthy living by recognizing that eating well prepared food as the first step toward having a healthier body that will respond positively to the environment…

So I am sharing on this page some of the old recipes that I remember that my mother made. She cooked with simple ingredients. so please come and add comments and also your variations of any of the recipes that I will place on this page.

I am scientist and one of the most intriguing experience for me is the connection between biology and chemistry, cooking and eating.  So immortalizing my mother and my father here are some of their recipes or as  they called them ricette

Today is June 24 and the feast of San Giovanni It is also my name day. I am named after St. John the Baptist.

So here is a little piece of of information from Kyle Phillips

Today is San Giovanni, Florence’s Patron’s Saint’s Day, and tonight there will be fuochi, or fireworks. There’s a painting of the Ponte Vecchio with fireworks going off around it, but now they are launched from Piazzale Michelangelo, the square overlooking the river. The river banks will be packed, and I expect it will be lots of fun.

Here is a great summer salad from Tuscany:

Reference for the recipe below: http://italianfood.about.com/od/illustratedrecipesmore/ss/panzanella.htm

From Kyle Phillips


Panzanella is a Tuscan summer bread salad: peasant food, and a way of making stale bread palatable when there was little else to go with it. It’s an extremely popular antipasto/first course at Simone Ciattini’s La Baracchina, a trattoria in the hills just south of Florence.

Simone notes that, like many other bread-based dishes, for example ribollita or pappa al pomodoro, panzanella has become considerably richer since the end of the War, because people can now afford to add more of the other ingredients that support the bread. Considering that the other ingredients are tomatoes, cucumber and onion, this does make one think.

Panzanella is a Tuscan summer bread salad: peasant food, and a way of making stale bread palatable when there was little else to go with it. It’s an extremely popular antipasto/first course at Simone Ciattini’s La Baracchina, a trattoria in the hills just south of Florence.

So what do you need for Panzanella?

This is a bread based salad. You’ll need a loaf of day-old Italian bread, of the kind that has a quite firm crust and crumb with enough body to be able to stand up to being thoroughly soaked. American-style soft breads of the sort baked in a baking tin simply will not work for panzanella, because they will collapse into a paste. Don’t use

In addition to bread you will need:

  • Vinegar
  • Sun-Ripened Tomatoes* I use grape tomatoes becasue they are sweet and I will use Roma tomatoes when theya re available but you can use any kind of tomatoes, Jersey beefsteak are just as good.
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet onion, along the lines of Tropea if you’re in Europe, or Vidalia if you’re in the Americas
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Basil

The photos will give you an idea of how much of each ingredient you’ll need.

These are the standard ingredients. Panzanella turns out to be a family recipe and has many variations.

You can make it very simple, with just basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt as your seasoning.

Other enrich theirs with capers, or perhaps pitted slivered black olives, and I have even encountered panzanella with crumbled canned tuna and cold chopped cooked shrimp. Some people will add carrot or celery (finely sliced crosswise) to their panzanella.

bread salad

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