Call me crazy, but after a night of excess. There is nothing I fancy more than a restorative then a veggie packed salady dish to revitalise and refuel my body.
Everyone has their own recovery food. I may be a bit of a salmon swimming against the current of the classic hangover pizza, but there is nothing like a good carb-based salad to fill a hungry tummy and replace a few lost vitamins and minerals. I recommend you try it. It will definitely make you feel better after!
Last night was one such night of excess. (I write this now from my bed, with a huge glass of my Avocado Smoothie clamped between my paws – planning to eat the leftovers sit residing my fridge, for lunch) The reason for my delicate state was down to last nights dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. A night of truffle cheese and wine pairing – A delicious indulgent and wickedly dangerous combination.
18 month ago, Jamie gave Tom Calver, (from Westcombe Cheddar) 1kg of Alba white truffles. Just so we are straight, we are talking £3,000 worth of moreish, nutty and oh so delicious truffley goodness…. Tom’s challenge was to make the first white truffle flavoured cheddar.
After a year and a half of ageing, they finally cracked open the cheese last week. To celebrate the bonkers experiment they got a bunch of us down to try some of the spoils with an extensive menu and a cracking selection of wine. I don’t know what it was called but the first red, after the chardonnay, two before the pudding wine, was my favourite…
There were 7-courses: beginning with asparagus and truffle Cheddar and ending in the truffle cheddar, with oatmeal biscuits, and Isle of Mull honeycomb. In the middle was the slow-cooked onion, smoked almonds, nettles, westcombe truffle cheddar – ricotta gnocchi, wild garlic with sweet and sour truffle cheddar and veal and truffle cheddar welsh rarebit.
The dishes were all delicious and not overwhelmingly cheesy. The menu was created by the talented Jon Rotherham (head chef of Fifteen) and his talented team.
Anyway… back to the restoration and recovery part of this post.
Panzanella is a classic Italian salad with charred bread, roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs. It is not only a vibrant colourful and refreshingly simple dish, but also a great way to use up the end of a bread loaf. I always find the salad is always finer with bread that is a few days old, the slices always charr well, it also holds together better. Fresher bread tends to disintegrate into the bottom of the bowl.
Although delicious served solo, it is also nice with the addition of any deli meats, olives, or cheese. My particular favourite is with leftover roast chicken and lots of the basil yoghurt dressing.
Let me apologise in advance for the photos, but I was so excited to eat it, I just couldn’t wait.
- 400g Heritage Tomatoes
- 2 slices Sourdough, grilled
- 200g Smoked Tofu
- 2 large ripe Figs
- a large handful of Rocket
- a small handful of Basil Leaves
Basil Yoghurt Dressing
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Plain Probiotic Yoghurt
- 4 tablespoons Basil Leaves, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 2 clove Garlic, mashed to a pulp
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Heat a large griddle pan over a high heat. Once the pan in hot add the two slices of sourdough and place a lit on top to weigh it down. Toast the bread until it had dark scorch marks, then flip it over and do the same on the other side. It should take 3-4 minutes on each side, but keep an eye on it.
Meanwhile make the dressing by adding all
the ingredients to a bowl or jar and whisking, or shaking until nicely mixed.
Add and extra 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar in a large bowl. Wash and dry the rocket and parsley (saving a few parsley leaves for garnish). Slice up the smoked tofu into little 1-inch pieces, halve the tomatoes, and quarter the figs, add them all to a bowl, with the olive oil and cider vinegar. Once the bread is charred, rip it into chunks and add to the bowl. Season with salt and black pepper and toss gently to mix.
Serve the panzanella with the basil yoghurt dressing drizzled on top.