Mar 14, 2011

Crostini Tricolore

Mazzini ~ Cavour ~ Garibaldi

On March 17th 2011, Italy will celebrate 150 years of its unification, which led to the birth of the country as a nation. It was only after WWII that Italy's borders were re-written on today's maps, but 1861 was the pivotal year in a labored process that unified territories previously ruled by many different (and mostly foreign) sovreignties.
All this came with a cost, there were wars, bloodshed, poverty and revolutions. This period of Italian history is known as il Risorgimento, which means "the resurrection," an era of deep awakening for people from all ends of the boot-shaped peninsula who sided together to depose "the invaders" and claim full independence.
Some Italian politicians are not happy with this celebration, insisting on their separatist agenda. But let's not get into that, now.  I'm fully embracing this celebration to honor the memory of those who died for Italy's freedom and unification. If you want to know more about Unità d'Italia, check out this article on Wikipedia.

There are special events promoted all across the country to celebrate Italy's 150th Unification, myriad exhibits, theater and ballet openings, concerts, sport happenings, street artist performances, book readings, guided visits of major churches and sites, light shows and fireworks. You can find the full calendar of events, both nationwide and for major cities, HERE.

I was invited by Manu to participate in a special 150 Unification Party, a delicious recipe link-up. Please visit her site to see more celebratory posts by participating food bloggers, and join in the fun!

I'm contributing a simple CROSTINI recipe, one that employs typical Italian ingredients and that celebrates the colors of the Italian flag: green, white and red.


Ingredients for 2 servings:
1 cup fresh heirloom tomatoes (whatever variety grows locally in your area)
1/2 ciabatta, baguette or sourdough loaf
100 gr (1/2 cup) fresh mozzarella di bufala
A bunch of fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Dice the mozzarella, draining away milky whey as you chop.
Dice the tomatoes, discarding seeds and juice. Season them with a little olive oil, a small pinch of salt and a few basil leaves. Leave to marinade for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 360°F
Cut the bread loaf open lengthwise, to obtain two open faces.
Sprinkle each with the seasoned tomatoes and mozzarella, and drizzle with a thread of olive oil.

Place the dressed bread on a cookie sheet and place it the oven for about ten minutes. Here’s why: you want to melt the mozzarella and bake the bread just a bit. If we were to simply stick the pan under the broiler, the cheese would melt and bubble very quickly but the bread might get soggy from the dressing's moistness. After ten minutes, crank on the broiler and finish off the crostini for a few minutes.

Adjust seasoning and serve garnished with more torn basil leaves (cutting them with a metal blade kills the flavor).



Buon Appetito e Auguri, Italia!


22 comments:

  1. so clever and beautiful pics! you have inspired me to stick to an "italian theme" when i cook.. red white and green! thanks for the post

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  2. It's amazing how many tricolore recipes Italian can dish up with, and these crostini are quite phenomenal.

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  3. Hi Lola, we'll be celebrating too! (St. Patrick's Day!)these look delicious; you must be reading my mind, cos I saw lovely buffalo mozz on Wed, but couldn't think what to make with it.
    You've given me inspiration.
    Happy Mar 17th 2011!

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  4. CLASSICO E INTRAMONTABILE! adoro questi crostini! e auguri per l´Italia!

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  5. Lots of love from India ...

    Beautiful tricolor crostini .

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  6. Obbedisco!
    Nice photos, Eleonora. I've sometimes done pasta tricolore, with pesto, pasta in burro, e pomarola, but this looks great too.
    Dov'e' il Garibaldi di oggigiorno?

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  7. Always a favorite. I am so impatient and often end up with burnt edges. Just looking at yours I know I have to slow it down and wait for the perfection.
    Yum.

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  8. I've often wondered how Italy came to be Italy, but I've never gotten off of my ass and really tried to satisfy my curiosity. I guess today would be a good day to read up on it. Thanks for the push!

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  9. Were your ears burning on Saturday???
    I made one of your gorgeous pasta recipes ('shrooms, italian sausage) for dinner with my friends!
    It was a great success - GRAZIE

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  10. oh i like the looks of this...and what a way to celebrate...taking a little taste...

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  11. Crostini! I need to try these. I'll aim for March 17.

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  12. Wish I could taste those photos - oh yum! Great exhibit on this entire part of Italian history at the "Wedding Cake" in Rome. Buona festa

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  13. Anna~
    Red, white and green is easy to stick to with Italian ingredients!!

    Italian Notes~
    Thank you! I'm glad you like them!!

    Mimi~
    I forgot to include wisheds for St Paddy's Day!! Hugs

    Colores~
    Grazie sei troppo gentile!!

    Sangeeta~
    Thank you for your visit!

    Andrea~
    I do pasta tricolore with pesto, pommarola and quattro formaggi too! Garibaldi inimitabile!!

    LoriE~
    What's the saying, "patience makes perfect"? (but I may have dreamt it though). In any case, the slower the better...

    Jim~
    It's ironic that such an ancient culture and civilization, has only become a NATION 150 years ago! Younger that the youngest of countries, the USA!

    Janet~
    Oh, I'm sooo happy you reported back, and mostly that it was a success!!!! :) big smiles

    Brian~
    Take all you want, there's plenty for everyone!! Happiness

    Jeff~
    That's two of us, then!

    Lisa~
    I was leading a tour today in the centro storico, and the city is really decked out in its Tricolore! Looks fabulous.

    Ciao!!

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  14. Congratulations on the unification. So when is your government going to give Südtirol back to Austria?

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  15. Happy Unification Day!

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  16. Cyberquill~
    The South Tyrolean population consider themselves Austrian. They refuse to be seen as Italian, but they are neither German nor Austrian. I applaud their efforts to carve out their own cultural identity over the past 90 years.

    Rach~
    Thank you!

    Jeff~
    Grazie!

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  17. Buona Giornata, E.
    Today, we are all Italians!

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  18. Rosaria-
    Grazie! And to you too, amica mia.

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  19. I hope you had fun in Roma yesterday.
    Viva l’Italia! Long Live Italy

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  20. Great focus on italian recipes, I knwo this is off topic but what camera do you use? Your pictures are beautiful.

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  21. Linda~
    I'm sorry I missed replying to your comment, scusa!

    Anonymous~
    Thank you! I use a little Sony point-and-shoot DSC T90, but I'm hoping to "upgrade" to a more professional machine soon :)

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Ciao
Eleonora

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