7 DAY GARDEN VEGETABLE CHALLENGE! DAY 3, Tomato Frezzelle
As our garden bounty continues to pile up in the kitchen, we decided to take a week and make an effort to cook with a garden vegetable each day/night. Please join us on our journey!
You are in for a treat today. I swore not to share any family recipes from the cookbook I have been writing until it finally gets published. However, I can't have a garden vegetable challenge without using tomatoes on frezzelle. So you are getting a sneak peak on one family recipe that will be found in my cookbook.
Frezzelle are often found in Italian bakeries or International food markets. They are very hard toast rings, and are used for light lunches and snacks. My grandmother used to break these up and put them in warm, sweetened milk with some Nesquik and a shot of espresso for breakfast. The frezzelle would soften up in the sweetened milk, soaking up all the "yummy". And that is the key to frezzelle-the softening of the toast through various means of flavor. The approach here is best with garden fresh tomatoes. This makes a great, light lunch. You can use fresh herbs, too. But we often use dry out of habit. This was a staple for my family growing up in the summer.
First, take a frezzelle ring and break it up into easy to eat chunks. Lightly drizzle water over the ring until the ring is softened, but not soggy. It should still feel firm in the center. Place the frezzelle on a plate. Clean 4-6 small garden tomatoes and cut in half or quarters, depending on size. Meanwhile, gather dried Basil, Parsley, Garlic Salt and Whole Oregano, as well as salt and pepper.
Mush each piece of the cut tomato into the toast, spreading the pulp all over. Do this with each tomato, then place tomato cut side up on the frezzelle. Keep doing this until all the tomatoes have been mushed into the toast and evenly cover the ring. Now sprinkle seasonings generously over the tomatoes. Do this according to your tastes, but for these smaller rings I use about 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp. of the other seasonings, salt and generous pepper. Next, drizzle olive oil evenly over the tomatoes, about 3 Tbsp. total. Now between the olive oil and the tomato juice, the toast will be nice, chewy and flavorful.
The final step before eating is to turn the tomatoes over and press them into the bread. The tomatoes act as little cups holding oil and seasonings, and flipping them over so it all stays put and soaks into the bread is key. This is a messy process-making and eating! Now grab a lot of napkins and with your fingers, enjoy!