Portable panzanella for the beach picnic

What I didn’t mention in the last post … the one that had me worried about the main course for supper after lounging about for too long at the  beach … was that, in my haste to actually get to the beach, I only had time to rustle up a ‘sandwich’ for lunch once we got there.

‘Rosetta’ means ‘little rose’ in Italian and is the name given to a bread roll that looks rather like the thorny bloom and that used to be a very popular item in every single bakery all over Rome and Lazio.  I say ‘used to be’ because apparently people are eating less and less of the old-fashioned rosetta for reasons which include a dearth of bakers in the city!  To be honest, the rosetta is not my favourite bread … it is all white flour and its pleasant crispiness didn’t last for very long.  A fresh rosetta bought in the morning became very chewy-rubbery by supper time.

Having said that, however, the rosetta was just the best for any kind of ‘sandwich’ …. a fresh rosetta with parma ham or salami or mortadella was the business if you were hungry enough to eat something substantial before lunch.  Its shape is simply made for containing, much better than two slices of bread.

So much for the rosetta.

Now, ‘panzanella’ is a dish born of thrifty genius for hot and sultry summer months and is made up of stale bread soaked in water with a dash of vinegar to it and slices of tomatoes, cucumber and onion.  A glug of olive oil, plenty of basil leaves and salt and pepper.  That’s it – simple and delicious.  There are variations to a panzanella but the above are the classic ingredients.

For our picnic lunch at the beach, I stuffed the rosetta with slices of tomato and mozzarella, added basil and olive oil, and some salt.  By the time we got to eat it, a good two hours later, the bread had moistened and gone ‘soft’ with the tomato juice and the oil … and it dawned on me that it tasted very much like a panzanella … only that it was ‘portable’ and did not require a fork.  Our mouths got quite oily and it was even a bit ‘messy’ to eat …. mmmmm, slurp … there is something so atavistically satisfying about ‘portable’ food!

There is the rosetta, on the right.

I have sliced the rosetta in half … and stuffed slices of tomatoes in one half, together with torn basil leaves.

I then added slices of mozzarella on top of the tomatoes, salt and olive oil.  And then I did the same with the other half of the rosetta (on the left).

I put the two halves of the rosetta back together again, and pressed hard with my hand.  Notice that I prepared the rosetta on sheets of kitchen paper …

I then wrapped the kitchen paper around the rosetta before wrapping that in aluminium foil.  The rosetta sandwich is perfectly portable now!

Very easy to carry …

And then, when it is unwrapped, and if you are feeling very hungry, it is truly a joy to bite into:

It’s all gooey inside and nice and crisp outside.

About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
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2 Responses to Portable panzanella for the beach picnic

  1. shirley beltram says:


  2. Pingback: Beach panino – the “best of the kind” that we know of … | My Home Food That's Amore

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