It was one night, over several rounds of cocktails at Joseph Leonard's in the West Village, during the spring of 2018 that really shifted us from "work friends" to something incredibly special. As the temperatures in Brooklyn rose, we spent many nights on Ali's rooftop drinking chilled natural wine and eating the most delicious produce from the farmers market in Fort Greene.
About two or three months in, she let me know that she was leaving her restaurant in Little Italy to intern at a farm and winery in Northern California ~ I followed a month later.
Whether on the East Coast, or here in California, Ali's panzanella is my summer constant.
This panzanella is a celebration of everything we love about Italy; it's rustic, simple, fresh, flavorful and delicious. It's the perfect balance of fresh herbs with a natural sweetness from summer tomatoes. Some of our favorite additions include grilled corn, summer peaches or nectarines, and avocado. Also, try swapping Balsamic for the Champagne vinegar and ALWAYS use high quality olive oil ~ ingredients matter.
Pro tip, this panzanella is best enjoyed outside over a bottle of frappato by Sicilian winemaker, Arianna Occhipinti.
- 2 cups toasted Super Bloom Sourdough, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 4 pints heirloom, grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup basil leaves, torn
- ¼ cup parsley leaves, torn
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves, torn
- ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Flakey sea salt, to taste
- ¼ cup Miyoko's Cashew Milk Mozzarella, torn
Add tomatoes, herbs, toasted Super Bloom Sourdough, Champagne vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper to a large bowl. Toss to evenly coat and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with mozzarella and flakey sea salt.
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