I am in the process of researching an imaginary trip to Italy.
Rome, Milan, Florence, maybe the Tuscan countryside, and wine country.
From the crux of my initial research, lets call it Eataly. It is almost like a dream, to be able to eat and live life on the robust flavours of Tuscany, the gorgeous wines and the exceptional deserts. I think my version of a dream holiday in Eataly involves waking up early to beat the long queues spiralling alongside the museums and art galleries, with a mandatory quick stop at a local cafe for a double espresso. After the gallery/museum of the day, walk around one of the many quaint squares and their attached by lanes, poking around the local stores and boutiques, collecting pantry essentials (truffles, olive oils, cheeses, herbs, you get the gist!) and enjoying the local vibe. Next stop – a trattoria or deli for a quick but satisfying lunch (I’m thinking a mozzarella and tomato panini) washed down with some crisp white wine or a chilled beer.
The afternoons would be spent walking around, digesting lunch and looking for an eye catching gelateria to sample some pistachio (or maybe coffee) gelato. The evenings would vary from another museum/art gallery or maybe the Duomo, or even a picturesque location to watch the sun set, with a bottle of vino, some crostini and some Italian cheeses.
Dinner? Italian, obviously! Followed by a customary tiramisu.
I think this has been my best imaginary trip in my life!
In the mean time, sweltering life in Bombay would just have to be spruced up with my version of a Caprese Sandwich, an Italian staple, favourite and classic.
I let some olive oil doused sourdough crisper slightly under the grill for a few minutes, before rubbing coarsely with garlic and piling with freshly sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and torn bocconcini, and finished with a squeeze of balsamic syrup, freshly cracked pepper and sea salt.
Simple, fresh, bursting with flavour, texture and just a giant melody in your mouth. Yum!
- 1 small sourdough loaf, cut horizontally through the centre
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 pieces bocconcini, cut into 3 each
- 1 tsp Balsamic Glaze (or more, to taste)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Douse the olive oil over the open face of the bread, and place under grill for 4-5 minutes, till the oil is soaked in by the bread.
- Rub the peeled clove of garlic over the bread, to give it a slight garlicky kick, yet not overpowering the sandwich.
- Arrange the sliced tomato, basil leaves and cheese on top of each half of the bread. Season and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
- Yep, its that easy!
Here is a quick guide to where you can get the same ingredients as I used:
Sourdough: The Baker’s Dozen
Balsamic Glaze: Nature’s Basket