Crunchy Summer Salad

If we were to describe summer in a single platter, we would have no doubt: the Panzanella. Panzanella is an essential ingredient in any self-respecting regional recipe book and has all the qualities of which characterize the cornerstones of Italian cuisine: it is a vegan dish in the DNA, which originally did not contain any ingredients of animal origin. Made with simple raw materials, abundant in nature, in season, cheap, it is a recovery dish, which transforms a waste into something new and good. Can be prepared in advance and preserved until the moment of the meal, is tasty but at the same time nutritionally correct and has humble origins, peasant, despite it has since become so famous throughout the world.

Basically Panzanella is part of the family of "wet breads" of which our country boasts an ancient and rich tradition. The advanced bread, whether dry or slightly stale, is sprinkled with oil, vinegar and juices from summer vegetables, the incomparable triad tomato, cucumber, cheese, so as to become a jelly soaked in flavour to be consumed cold or at room temperature. Abundant basil broken with the hands a generous ground pepper completes this Tuscan delicacy of countless variants: those who add beans, tuna or mozzarella, those who enrich it with other vegetables, from pepper to carrot.

Watermelon as the protagonist of summer and panzanella

In short, the Panzanella is a magnificent dish, very fast to make and certainly a success that should be brought to the table for the whole summer. Our interpretation includes, first of all, the addition of watermelon, in perfect combination with the balsamic-fresh aroma of basil and with the sweet-acid aroma of ripe tomatoes. In addition to giving a pleasant boost of flavour, this fruit belonging to the family of cucurbits helps to make the recipe even healthier. In fact, the watermelon, composed to 92% by water, it is a perfect natural diuretic and purifying that can help to counteract swelling and blemishes of cellulite, as well as keeping high the level of hydration of the body, fundamental in summer. The abundant presence of potassium and magnesium make it a valuable aid against cramps, tiredness, exhaustion, mood swings and the high temperature illnesses. In addition, the presence of vitamin C and vitamin A stimulate the production of collagen, for the health of the hair and skin. Finally, the roughage, which in combination with water help the intestine to remain active and healthy.
The onion is there like this, but with a trick: to make it more digestible and tasty we prepare a hot marinating with vinegar and sugar and leave the washers in the liquid until the cooling is complete. In this way we will obtain pickles expressed much healthier and more genuine than those already prepared in a jar. We replace the soaked bread with croutons made by us, simply toasted in a pan with a little 'chili. You will feel the crispness of a dish full of vegetables and fresh fruit perfectly seasoned with good extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper? Try it for yourself.

Ingredients for 4 people
4 round ripe salad tomatoes
100 gr red cherry tomatoes
100 gr yellow cherry tomatoes
A slice of watermelon of about 400 g
1 cucumber
1 red onion
300 gr old bread
50 ml extra virgin oil
Fresh basil
Dried oregano to taste
50 ml apple vinegar
50 ml water
10 gr brown sugar
Salt as needed
Pepper to taste

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