There is NOTHING “classic” about my panzanella. If you’re hoping for a traditional, made-like-a-little-Italian grandmother, panzanella, this won’t be your recipe. But, if you are looking for out-of-this-world delicious, incredibly simple and quick to prepare for a homey get-together with family or friends, you just hit the jackpot! Classic panzanella is all about the bread [...]
There is NOTHING “classic” about my panzanella. If you’re hoping for a traditional, made-like-a-little-Italian grandmother, panzanella, this won’t be your recipe. But, if you are looking for out-of-this-world delicious, incredibly simple and quick to prepare for a homey get-together with family or friends, you just hit the jackpot!
Classic panzanella is all about the bread and a fabulous vinaigrette to dress it. Panzanella is made from chunks of hearty, chewy bread (usually day old or stale) mixed with variations of fresh vegetables, herbs, mozzarella or even olives and tossed with an olive oil and vinegar dressing. The exact ingredients and variety of bread seem to vary by region, in Italy. When I prepare it, the bread is still the main ingredient, but I’m more than just a little picky about how I get that bread ready to be salad.
Bread, dipped in delicious vinaigrettes made with high quality olive oils and vinegars from O Olive Oil, is sublime. But soggy, mushy bread, no matter how perfect the flavor, is a huge textural problem for me. I just can’t do it. So, the bread needs to be prepared to absorb flavor and still retain it’s texture – toasted and crusty outside, soft and wonderful inside. This recipe allows me to do just that and enjoy delicious panzanella, albeit a slightly less than conventional version. I think you’re going to love it!
You’ll remember that I shared my first taste of O Olive Oils and Vinegars with you, just a few short days ago; and we took a little journey through the Italy in my mind. :) We talked about the recipe contest being sponsored by eRecipeCards.com and O Olive Oil; and how you would be able to give me a boost with my contest entry, soon. If you haven’t done it, yet, I hope you’ll stop by eRecipeCards.com and register for your own free recipe box. You’ll be able to save a personal file of fabulous recipes from bloggers all around the net; and more than that, you’ll be able to vote for my recipe in this contest, Rustic Panzanella, by adding it to your recipe box. You can read more about the contest and entries, as well as discover all the uniquely delicious products O has to offer, by following them on Facebook.
I actually struggled with the decision to enter this recipe. I created two extraordinary dishes with the O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil I reviewed (I’ll definitely be sharing the second, a bit later.). Which to enter? It was hard to decide. I even noticed, this evening, that one of the other entrants posted a panzanella recipe on the erecipecards.com site, just before mine. Great minds think alike, I guess! But, my version is different enough, that I think it will have great appeal to a wide audience, who may have never tried panzanella before, or perhaps thought they wouldn’t like it. The point of this contest is to showcase O Olive Oils and Vinegars and make them the star of the dish. That’s why I’m making Rustic Panzanella my official entry. O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and O White Balsamic Vinegar meld into a blissfully flavorful vinaigrette. :) So, let’s go strolling, again, and enjoy the tranquility of shady olive groves and fragrant vineyards, right at our own kitchen tables!
I received a bottle of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and a bottle of O White Balsamic Vinegar in order to test them in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. Additionally, I used them to create a recipe for a contest, where I could potentially win other O Olive Oil products. No monetary compensation was received for this review and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.
Sometimes flavors can be so full, so rich, so fabulously unique that your mind transports you to a place that you associate with those tastes and aromas. I had that experience, this week, and the journey was magnificent, as well as a surprise. I’ve never been to Italy, though I would love to visit there. [...]
Sometimes flavors can be so full, so rich, so fabulously unique that your mind transports you to a place that you associate with those tastes and aromas. I had that experience, this week, and the journey was magnificent, as well as a surprise. I’ve never been to Italy, though I would love to visit there. Most of my ideas and imaginings about it have been fueled by movies, books and television, so maybe it would be nothing like I imagine, anyway. But, I have visions of rolling hills and old stone cottages, lush green olive groves to shade and cool me in the heat of the day and miles and miles of vineyards. Accurate or not, that’s my vision and it’s where I go when I am treated to an exceptionally delicious dish, or food, that I particularly associate with Italian flavors. So, imagine my surprise when I made this delectable journey, only to find that the ingredients that sent me there are created in the sunny, wine country of California! Mmm….hmmm….I went to Italy in California. Holy GPS Error, Batman!
O Olive Oil is perfectly located, in northern California, where they hand-harvest ripe Mission olives in the foothills of the Sierra mountains. They work alongside the owners of small, family farms to select the best pesticide-free, black, reddish purple and green olives for their pressed oils; and in keeping with their commitment to quality, rush them to the press where they are crushed within 48 hours of harvesting. O also produces their delectable wine vinegars and balsamic vinegars from the fine grapes produced in the Napa Valley. I’m excited about their commitment to age-old organic processes and techniques, while using the best American-grown olives and grapes, to create and meld these sun-kissed flavors in their high-quality olive oil and vinegars!
It is my great fortune to have been selected to test, and create a recipe with, two exquisite O Olive Oil products — their California Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and their California White Balsamic Vinegar. O has partnered with eRecipeCards.com to sponsor a recipe contest, with 24 bloggers competing. I’m so excited and honored to be part of it!
If you’ve never visited eRecipe cards.com before, you need to head right over there and sign-up for your own free eRecipeBox! The site is loaded with thousands of fantastic recipes, posted by bloggers from all around the web. They have an easy to use search feature that lets you find exactly what you’re looking for. Search by Ingredient, Title or Blogger. Save the recipes you love into your own personal eRecipe Box and retrieve them quickly and easily, on future visits. Plus, later in this fun recipe competition, with O Olive Oil and Vinegars, you’ll be able to vote for my recipe, by adding it to your eRecipe Box. It’s going to be AWESOME!!! Just sayin’.
What appealed to me, first, about O Olive Oils, is that they are never infused or blended with extracts and seasonings, after the fact. The olives are cold-pressed and crushed along with whole fruit (clementines, oranges, Meyer lemons, figs etc.), within 48 hours of picking, to maximize the flavor of the blend being created. The true flavors of the olives and the fruit are melded in the pressing; and create a unique and powerful taste experience that you won’t get in other olive oils. The oil I’m reviewing is garlic oil and not citrus, but like all O Olive Oils, the ingredient list is minimally marvelous — Mission olives, kettle-roasted garlic — that’s it! Flavor and then MORE flavor! Simple, pure and delicious !
Today, I want to introduce you to the two products, I personally, have been testing and will be working with for the contest.
1. O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil: What a fabulous combination! Olive oil and garlic are both so good for you and to merge them into one, is absolute genius! When I pulled the cork (yup, a cork – no screw tops) from the top of this bottle I was immediately greeted by the fragrance of the roasted garlic and the “sweet” smell of the olives.
Never before, would I have considered using the words “sweet” and “olive” in the same sentence, but it’s there, an almost fruity smell, that comes blended with the aroma of smoky, roasted garlic. Tasting it, I get the same subtle hint of roasted garlic, not overpowering, but the first sensation on my palate; and then just as you think that the garlic will be the only taste, there is the lingering taste of the Mission olive. This delicious olive oil is light, and yet, still has an almost buttery richness. Fabulous!
2. O White Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegars are different than wine vinegars. While wine vinegars are prepared from fermented wine, balsamics are made from grape pressings that have never been fermented to become wine. The aroma of O’s White Balsamic (also corked) is at once vinegar, but then quickly reminiscent of a sweet wine. It has to be the grapes, a combination of muscat and malvasia. It’s color is pale gold and the flavor, like the scent, has that same heady “bite” of vinegar, married with the sweetness of the grapes. It’s light and crisp, incredibly robust and flavorful! It is the perfect level of acidity to accompany the buttery richness of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, and for purposes of my initial taste-test, I just couldn’t get enough!
I definitely love these products! In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you the
tasting testing, mentioned in the picture above, has not been my only time delving into these delicious products. As a matter of fact, lunchtime, snack time, pretty much any time has been enough of an excuse for me to sample them, again. I need to complete my recipe contest entry and photos, very soon, or my “testing” will send me running to the market for new bottles!
By visiting the O Olive Oil Facebook page, I learned that their products will be on sale in most Whole Foods stores throughout the month of June; so, this would be a great time to grab a bottle, or two, or six. I also picked up some great tips and recipe ideas on the Facebook page. One day soon, you’ll see my recipe creation posted there. I can’t wait to share it with you!
So where’s the last place that some incredible flavor has transported YOU??!! I’d love to hear about it and to know what food inspired your perfect “dream-away”!
I received a bottle of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and a bottle of O White Balsamic Vinegar in order to test them in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. Additionally, I will use them to create a recipe for a contest, where I could potentially win other O Olive Oil products. No monetary compensation was received for this review and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.
Hold on to your hats! You won’t believe what I’m about to share! You were bound to find out, sooner or later. It’s true…I’m a cooking show junkie. Food Network is my very “bestest most favorite” channel (Did you see Ree [the Pioneer Woman], in her debut, this weekend?). When it comes to [...]
Hold on to your hats! You won’t believe what I’m about to share! You were bound to find out, sooner or later. It’s true…I’m a cooking show junkie. Food Network is my very “bestest most favorite” channel (Did you see Ree [the Pioneer Woman], in her debut, this weekend?). When it comes to Food Network or cooking blogs, I will discuss the recipes with you and talk about the chefs as though they were next-door neighbors on a first name basis. I’m just weird like that.
So, over the summer, I discovered that the BRAVO network also airs a show called Top Chef. In watching it, I “got to know” the competitors and always ended up rooting for Chef Fabio Viviani. He didn’t have the same cut-throat attitude towards the game, as many of the chefs. He was helpful and always looking out for someone else, which while it wasn’t always a great game strategy, made him so endearing. He cracked me up and made me laugh at least once in every episode with his funny one-liners. Plus, I love his accent AND I want to learn to make gnocchi, his signature dish. So, it was the most fun thing ever for me to get the chance to review a new app for my iPad called Let’s Cook. Let’s Cook is an iOS app from Bertolli and features none other than Chef Fabio! What’s not to love?
I hit the App Store button on my iPad and downloaded the program with no trouble. It took a little while to install itself, but I didn’t have to do anything to set it up, except start the download. Technology doesn’t get much simpler than that. The time involved for the download is due to the fact that everything is housed right on your iPad. The entire program, including 16 step-by-step recipe tutorial videos, is housed on your device, meaning no start and stop video, waiting for it to stream. It’s already there, so it’s smooth sailing through whatever you are using the app for in your kitchen. There’s over five hours of imbedded cooking video!
Not only will Chef Fabio demonstrate recipes on video in full-screen HD, teach you everything you ever wanted to know about olive oil and it’s use in your kitchen, AND give you his best chef kitchen tips on video, Let’s Cook also includes over 100 recipes, courtesy of Bertolli Olive Oil. Recipes include something from each of the categories: soups, appetizers, salads, side dishes, entrées, and desserts. I love how simple it is to navigate and find the recipes you’re looking for and the gorgeous photos that make me want to get out in the kitchen, right now!
You can also create a “favorites” list, for quick access to the recipes your family enjoys the most and email the ingredients directly to your phone or other device, so you have a shopping list handy. The photo and video quality are excellent and the audio is great, too. Chef Fabio is engaging, entertaining and an excellent teacher. As I began testing the app for this review, my five-year-old granddaughter climbed up into my lap and literally watched every video with me. We would finish one video and she would immediately switch back to the index, scroll through the pictures and ,”Ooooh Grandma! We should make this one!” lol Later, as I was preparing dinner, she followed me to the kitchen, carrying my iPad, giggling (She likes Chef Fabio’s accent, too.) and watching videos on her own.
I’m really enjoying this app and I’ll bet you would, too. You can download it from the iTunes store directly to your iPad, like I did, or to your computer to sync with your iPad, later. It requires an iPad with iOS 4.2 or higher.
I received this app and Bertolli product samples through Blog Friendly PR, in order to test them in my own kitchen and write this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As always, at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.