Friday, October 7, 2011

Wining and Dining


In celebration of our birthdays this past summer, we had BIG plans. It was to be three weeks in Italy and we could easily see ourselves in bustling piazzas and cozy cafes. We would take in art, food, and wine until we were exhausted, stuffed and tipsy, then do it all over again the next day. Airfare was booked. Travel books were bought. Research was done. Excitement was building.


I’m sure you can sense where this is going…sadly, we didn’t go. There was no wine-tasting in Tuscany, or staring in awe at David, or taking in the amazing views off the Cinque Terre. Instead we spent our birthdays in Sonoma. (That’s not as bad as it sounds!)

Now I know that Sonoma for Italy probably doesn’t seem like an even trade, and obviously it’s not, but I can tell you that our Sonoma visit stands out to me as one of those days that I will always remember.


Instead of sweeping coastal views, we took in gorgeous vineyards. And instead of Chianti, we drank Pinot Noir. But the good company, the conversation, the laughter and love; we have those no matter where we are. And for whatever reason, it seemed like we had them ten-fold that day.


We still bemoan the fact that we weren’t able to go to Italy, but in it’s place, I have a wonderful, albeit very different, memory. And one day soon, we will get there. In the meantime, we can brush up on useful Italian phrases, learn more about Italian wine, and eat all the Italian food we want.


Antipasti Bread Salad

1 cup salami chunks
1 cup quartered marinated mozzarella balls
1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup halved La Romanella Manzanilla olives
1/2 cup sliced La Romanella peperoncini, stems removed
1/3 cup chopped La Romanella fire-roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon parsley

5 cups cubed French bread (day old is best)
olive oil
pepper

Vinaigrette:
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, mix together first 9 ingredients and reserve.

In another bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients and reserve.

In a large pan, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, toss bread cubes in pan to coat with oil. Season with pepper. Continue tossing bread until it is well-toasted, about 10-15 minutes. (Drizzle more oil as necessary to coat bread completely as it toasts.) Once done, add the bread cubes immediately to the antipasti mixture and toss with vinaigrette. Stir well to combine. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the bread soak up the vinaigrette and soften.

(Tempted as you may be to season bread cubes with salt, don’t! The other ingredients are plenty salty. Yes, I learned that the hard way.)



This dish is my attempt to meld all my favorite things from an antipasto platter into one. The salad has all the briny flavors that you’d expect, with creamy cheese, salty salami and toasted bread to soak it all up. 


Pair it with your favorite bottle of Italian wine and imagine you’re relaxing in a villa.


This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.

30 comments:

  1. The bread salad looks delicious! I'm such a sucker for salami. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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  2. It sounds like you know how to make the best of any situation!

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  3. This is the perfect recipe for the still-sweltering days we're having! Looks so refreshing and the picture alone makes me want to open up a bottle of wine and enjoy it with you :)

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  4. I'm so sorry you weren't able to go to Italy, but you did make the best of it and ended up somewhere that is breathtakingly gorgeous as well. Plus, wine is wine, right?

    I love your antipasto plate. You did a great job of pulling all the flavors and textures together. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Bread salads intrigued me and I've never ever HAD one, but this one looks so good! Will need to give it a whirl!

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  6. This panzanella looks great and I love that all of the flavors of a great antipasti platter are in it =)

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  7. What a great idea for a salad!!!! I'll have to try this next time the italian side of the family has a get together :)

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  8. Oh no! What happened so that you had to cancel your trip? Still, seems like you had a lovely time in Sonoma. I love antipasti...honestly, could eat that sort of stuff all day long. Can't do the bread, in my case, but I do love everything else in this!

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  9. What a bummer not getting to go to Italy! I would love to go to Sonoma too, so not the same thing at all, but not too shabby, IMHO. Your photos are great and this recipe looks fantastic!

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  10. I hope you get to go to Italy soon! This salad looks perfect love the olives, mozz and chunks of salami. Oh and Happy Bday!!

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  11. I'm sorry you had to reschedule your Italy trip, but Sonoma is an excellent Plan B. We didn't make it Sonoma during our Napa trip in '09, but I'd love to go next time we're in Napa!! It looks gorgeous!!

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  12. I hope Italy happens very soon! in the mean time, this is an awesome salad! Buzzed!

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  13. The bread salad looks delicious. I hope you'll get to Italy one of this days. Nice photos.

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  14. So yummy! If you can't go to Italy, bring Italy to you :) Buzzed

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  15. I absolutely love the look of this salad! In fact, I think I might skip the other dishes, just to have more of this :)

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  16. This salad looks incredible! I love a bread salad, and this looks so full of all kinds of deliciousness! Some day you can go to Italy, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)

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  17. This salad looks incredible! I love a bread salad, and this looks so full of all kinds of deliciousness! Some day you can go to Italy, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This salad looks incredible! I love a bread salad, and this looks so full of all kinds of deliciousness! Some day you can go to Italy, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. This salad looks incredible! I love a bread salad, and this looks so full of all kinds of deliciousness! Some day you can go to Italy, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. This salad looks incredible! I love a bread salad, and this looks so full of all kinds of deliciousness! Some day you can go to Italy, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. So sorry the plan didn't work out! This salad looks great and I am happy you made the best out of the time :) So, u in bay area too ? we should catch up ! Following u in twitter now.

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  22. This looks like the most amazing thing ever!

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  23. Sounds yummy! I made a dish with La Romanella products too!

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  24. That looks like one of the most amazing dishes ever... I would love to grab a bowl of this! Maybe my wife will make it for me... Thanks for the recipe.

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  25. This looks like it's just popping with flavor - amazing!

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  26. Thank you for sharing this! It looks wonderful, and Im so excited to try this.

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