A Public Service Announcement for Wine & Food Lovers

TombreadpanzThere are a number of good things about summer. The days are longer and warmer. My SF Giants are playing almost every day. Golfing in the early morning is delightful.

But the best thing about summer, in my view, is the arrival of sweet, delicious backyard tomatoes along with a profusion of Rose wine from around the world. With these two wonderful summer arrivals, you have the staples for what I consider to be among the greatest summer wine and food pairings known to man: Panzella and Rose!

Panzella is basically bread and tomato salad. The dish is pure simplicity, simple to prepare and ought only to be made with fresh, ripe delicious tomatoes. And, when paired with a dry rose you have summer on the table. Nothing competes.

Preparing Panzella allows a great deal of leeway on the chefs part. But I believe that the most basic ingredients and the best rendition involves the following ingredients:

-Ripe, flavorful tomatoes cut into 3/4 to 1 inch chunks
-French bread cut into one inch squares and toasted
-Fresh Basil, chopped
-A little Olive oil
-A little Balsamic Vinegar
-Combine and serve.

Now, I've seen this dish prepared with chopped garlic, chopped onions, avocado, olives and other flavorful ingredients. But I believe that anything that competes too much with the flavor of sweet summer tomatoes can amount to tragedy where this dish is concerned.

As for the wine, it's really imperative that you seek out a young, dry rose to accompany the salad. Not only is the freshness, hints of citrus and summer character of the wine appropriate to serve with panzella, the salmon color of the fine, dry rose provides a pefect aesthetic accompaniment to the salad.

Side dishes? Well, it's not necessary. But, roasted potatoes are nice. Perhaps a nice piece of cold tuna. But really, what's the point? It's best to simply prepare nice big bowls of the stuff for each diner and have at it.

This has been a public service announcement for palates everywhere.


7 Responses

  1. John Majeski - July 30, 2012

    Great recipe and wine suggestion until you get to the last line TYPO my friend. I think you meant ‘bowls’ not ‘bowels’…..cheers! John

  2. Lara Chapman - July 30, 2012

    Any specific rose to suggest? It’s not a wine I purchase too often, although it is quite good.

  3. Tom Wark - July 30, 2012

    Find something fresh and dry from the South of France. It will likely appear salmon colored. This time of year you can walk into any good wine shop, ask the clerk for a nice, dry French Rose and they’ll show you a variety of selections.

  4. Lara Chapman - July 31, 2012

    Thank you. By the way, I would totally add garlic to the dish. 🙂

  5. Tom Wark - July 31, 2012

    Garlic could work and it’s not unusual to see it added to this dish. However, I’d go with roasted garlic rather than raw.

  6. Chris Campbell - August 6, 2012

    I have also enjoyed this dish with some fresh cubed mozzarella tossed in…

  7. Birdie - November 20, 2012

    Surprising to think of smotehnig like that

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