Tomato Salad Pugliese Style / Insalata di Pomodori con Frisedde
From Puglia comes this delightful summer salad that sits atop frisedde, a hard ring-shaped roll that is quickly softened in water. This salad can also be served as an antipasto.
- 2/3 cup Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 9 large fresh basil leaves, minced
- 1/2 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, minced
- Fine sea salt to taste
- 8 tolarge meaty plum tomatoes, diced
- 8 Frisedde
- In a glass bowl, combine all the salad ingredients and gently toss. Cover the bowl and let marinate at room temperature for several hours.
- Spoon the salad over the frisedde and let stand for about 20 minutes, cut before serving.
- Pugliese Hard Biscuits
- Makes 12
- Frisedda, a hard, dry biscuit from Puglia, was originally eaten by shepherds while tending their flocks. It provided a welcome snack that kept well for a long time. There are many ways to use it; my favorite is as the base of a fresh tomato salad. Traditionally, frisedde are boiled first, then baked, split in half, and baked again until dry and hard; in this modern version, the boiling step is eliminated. The frisedde are topped with anything from diced plum tomatoes and herbs to marinated vegetables to a seafood salad of squid, shrimp, and clams.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) water
- About 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, until it swells and becomes bubbly.
- Gradually add 2 3/4 cups flour and the salt to the yeast mixture and mix with your hands until a ball of dough is formed, adding additional flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes, or until smooth.
- Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in it, and turn to coat. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
- On a floured surface, knead the dough for a few minutes. Roll it into a 24-inch rope and cut the rope into six pieces. Roll each piece into a 13-inch rope and bring the ends together to form a ring. Pinch the ends to seal. Place 3 rings on each baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
- Bake the rings for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the rings cool slightly. (Leave the oven on.) With a sharp knife, cut the rings horizontally in half, and place on the baking sheets, cut sides up. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the rings to a rack to cool completely.
- To serve, dip each ring quickly in water and place on individual serving dishes. Fill the centers with your choice of ingredients.
- Note: Any leftover rings can be frozen, well wrapped, for future use.
- These recipes are from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow & Company Inc. in 1995.
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