Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Panzanella with Balsamico Di Modena


About a month ago I took a trip to Peddler's Village PA. My sister and I had so much fun shopping their cute boutiques, enjoying the beautifully manicured grounds, and eating at their great local pub. I especially loved the several book stores and specialty food and cooking shops that they had there. I spent hours wondering, looking like a glazed over kid in a candy shop. One of the last shops I went to was a fantastic Italian shop called the Casa Casale, with an enthusiastic owner who quickly became my best friend. She let me sample all sorts of stuff, every one as delicious as the last. But then she let me sample this, and I was hooked.

There is a very long and interesting process in making the Balsamic Di Modena, which is a lovely balsamic vinegar. Long story short, it takes at least five years to age, switching from barrel to barrel all made of different woods. It's also incorporated with grapes, figs, juniper berries, cherries, mulberries and a bunch of other good stuff. The finished product is thick like a syrup, and delightfully sweet, along with the rich tanginess of vinegar. I sampled it, giggled like a little girl and immediately bought it. This is one of those products that does not need much at all to compliment it. In fact, you are practically looking for any vehicle you find to prevent yourself from simply drinking it straight from the bottle. It's so delicious on strawberries and melon, it does something completely different to the fruit. If using it on salads, it's recommended to not even mix in oil, or any other ingredient for that matter.

A beautiful product like this calls for beautiful fresh ingredients. I thought panzanella would be perfect, and another first for me. Panzanella is a really simple salad that is usually made of stale bread and tomatoes. I also added chopped red onions, cucumbers, fresh basil and halved bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls). Tossed it with a small amount of the vinegar and kosher salt, and you have sheer loveliness on a plate. I love the sweetness of the Balsamic Di Modena, but it would also be very delicious with any viniagrette. It's a light and healthy salad with a ton of flavor.

22 comments:

Justin said...

panzanella has been on my must-try list forever -- why haven't i tried making it yet?

Jenn said...

I love balsamic vinegar. I always make sure I have a bottle in my kitchen always.

Jennifurla said...

Looks like a fatstically good treat, nice fresh ingredients too

Cheryl said...

That looks yummy, I have yet to find a really good bottle of Balsamic or made a Panzanella!

Erica said...

Panzanella salad is my favorite! I think you saw the version I made last week with the cantloupe- so good! The perfect balsamic really brings out the flavor. Perfection!

Ingrid said...

Oh, that just looks and sounds delightful! Wish they had shops like that around here.
~ingrid

MaryMoh said...

I love balsamic vinegar...very appetising. It makes a great dipping sauce for Chinese dumplings. Have a great day. MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

Barbara said...

Panzanella is one of my favorites, Teresa! This is a super recipe and I'd love to try this balsalmic vinegar.

Pam said...

I could eat just this for dinner and be perfectly happy! It looks great.

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks soo good!

girlichef said...

LOL, I don't blame you. Aged balsamic is sooo nummy...I like to put drops on my tongue ;) LOVE this panzanella. WANT this panzanella!

Liz said...

great pictures! I love a good bottle of balsamic vinegar too!

Velva said...

Pannanella salad is a great satisfying meal and served with a good aged balsamic dressing is delicious

Kim said...

Good fun, shopping and food make me giggle like a school girl too;-) Glad to know I'm not alone in that-LOL!

I love it when you find something delicious like this and you don't have to feel guilty eating it. Looks gorgeous!

Julie said...

The vinegar sounds amazing...and the salad is lovely. I've got to try this soon.

Lara said...

I've never heard of panzanella before, but it sounds intriguing.

Joanne said...

Good balsamic is hard to find but once you do track it down...you can die happy. This salad is definitely the perfect way to use it! Oh my so good.

Velva said...

Every kitchen should have a good bottle of balsamic vinegar-looks like you found yours.

Debbie said...

What a great looking dish. Looks like a perfect lunch!

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks like a perfectly delicious meal to highlight your balsamic.

Kathy said...

I LOVE bread salad!!!!!!!

Mindy said...

That looks soooooo good!