If you have been to Tuscany you may have noticed that Tuscan bread is made without salt. I used to have a problem with that but nowadays I hardly notice. One reason to that is that I make our bread so I never eat Tuscan bread (I still haven’t found a decent wholemeal bread in Italy and I have been here on and off since the very early 80’s so I have tried quite a lot of bread. Though I do have to say that the white Italian bread is excellent!) and another is that I just have got used to it. I can’t say when it happened because I discovered it when I was thinking about this post, I suppose I even like it which just shows how one can adapt. I never buy it except when I make two Tuscan dishes that I love, Pappa al pomodoro and Panzanella that really need the texture of unsalted bread to be good. Panzanella is a bread and vegetable salad that you eat in the summer and I promise I will post a recipe/suggestion later on when I can get really nice tomatoes and cucumbers etc., yesterday just I made a sham Panzanella to satisfy a sudden craving for it.
Stale bread, very preferably unsalted
Tomatoes, if you take large ones you can do I did and use them as bowls
Mild onion or leek
– Break the bread into small pieces and put it in a bowl, sprinkle water and vinegar over it so that it soften up. If it gets soggy, just squeeze out the excess liquid.
– Cut off the top and scoop out the ‘inside’ of the tomatoes and chop it. Chop the onion and mix it with the tomatoes and then with the bread.
-Add basil, salt and oil and mix it well before scooping it into the tomatoes.
-Serve and enjoy the hint of what the real Panzanella taste like!