The Tuscan panzanella is a poor dish of peasant tradition. Like many tasty recipes of this type, it comes with some recycled ingredients. The main ingredient is bread that has been stale for a few days, and to make a perfect Panzanella you need the typical Tuscan bread, ie without salt. This kind of bread has the perfect texture to crumble and remain crisp even after being mixed with the other ingredients.
In the past, it was enough to use the stale bread, soaked it in water and after it was sliced it was mixed with the vegetables available from time to time. Today, among the most common ingredients there are spring onions and cucumber, but there are excellent variations with tomatoes, olives and peppers. The dish is seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt, vinegar and some basil leaves.
The panzanella is prepared in advance and left to rest in the fridge, so that the bread absorbs the flavors of the vegetables. It is a summer dish, fresh and perfect for a light dinner.
Gnudi alla toscana
The gnudi alla toscana are spinach meatballs, called gnudi near Florence, and Malfatti in Siena and in the surrounding area. They are called gnudi, which means naked, because in fact they are the filling of the ravioli, in this case without covering. In a frying pan, spinach and beetroot are cooked together, then are finely chopped. The chop is mixed with flour, grated cheese and ricotta cheese. Then they make the balls and cook them in boiling water. Once drained, they are seasoned with a simple tomato sauce or butter and sage.
Peposo alla Fornacina
The Peposo alla Fornacina is a second dish of meat from the Tuscan tradition. Its origin dates back to the times of the construction of the Duomo in Florence. The name of the dish comes from the fornacini, who were the responsible of the furnace where the bricks were prepared. It seems that the same ovens were used to bake the beef. The dish is also called Peposo del Brunelleschi. For a perfect peposo you need the beef muscle, Chianti red wine and black pepper. The beef cut into pieces and sprinkled with pepper, is slowly baked in the oven with wine, salt and aromas. At the end of the cooking it is seasoned with slices of toasted Tuscan bread.
Bistecca alla fiorentina
The florentine steak is one of the best known Tuscan dishes. It is prepared with veal meat, strictly chianine breed. The steak is obtained from the loin which must include the bone, fillet and sirloin. The cooking on the grill must be with blood. This dish is very ancient and was a luxury dish for most of the population, it is said that during the Medici time it was baked and distributed to the people on the occasion the San Lorenzo Festival on August 10th.