Panzanella Salad



This hearty version of Panzanella Salad combines juicy tomatoes and crusty bread with a cheesy Vincenzo’s Plate twist.

INGREDIENTS for 4 people:
3 x fresh ripe tomatoes
A bunch of lush green basil
1 x garlic clove
Portion of toasted crisp/stale bread (you might also be able to find some crisp bread crackers at your local green grocer or supermarket)
150-200g baked ricotta
Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic glaze
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Dried oregano and sage herbs

UTENSILS:
1 x large salad bowl
1 x medium sized knife
1 x table spoon Chopping board
1 x large rectangular serving plate

METHOD:
Break up the bread into small pieces and put it inside the salad bowl.
Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the top.
Pour balsamic vinegar over the top also (as much as you like depending how strong you enjoy your salad dressing).
Mix it well using a spoon.
Cut the green part out of the top of the tomato and slice them into small    chunks.
Remove the skin from the garlic clove and slice it into small pieces.
Add the garlic to your salad.
Break off several basil leaves from the bunch and rip them into small strips using your hands adding them to the salad and mix everything together well.
Add salt and pepper (as much as desired) and 2-3 pinches of dried oregano and sage.
Mix this through really well with a spoon before adding another few      drizzles of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic and mixing again.
Now, get your piece of baked ricotta and break it in small chunks, adding it straight to the salad, keeping a third of it to the side for later.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP:
The traditional Panzanella salad is made with fresh buffalo mozzarella. I wanted to create my own twist so I used baked ricotta as it is salty and adds a rustic texture to the dish.

HOW TO SERVE:
Pour the salad into the middle of a long rectangular serving plate.
Break chunks of the left over piece of baked ricotta into the salad so that it looks fluffy and white and sits at the top.
Squeeze balsamic glaze over the top, making a swirling pattern over the top and bleeding onto the plate a little bit.

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!