A Public Service Announcement for Wine & Food Lovers
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.