Italian Recipes – Cutting the Onions for Panzanella

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,459
    Culinary and Lifestyle Specialist Lisa Mushaw demonstrates how to cut onions for Panzanella.

    Lisa Mushaw

    A new generation doyenne on the rise who is staking her claim in the lofty arenas of international travel, tourism and the culinary arts, Lisa Mushaw is making transatlantic waves with TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE. TREASURES launched in November 2002 as a one-week vacation abroad with a twist – a cooking program where participants are given extensive exposure to Italian cuisine while discovering the physical beauty and traditions that are uniquely Tuscan. The idea was to offer “foodies” an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultural, personal and convivial rites that are the Tuscan Table, while basking in the charm of one of the world’s most exquisite and historic treasures. Lisa is a “natural taster” who cut her culinary teeth in the kitchen of relatives who excelled in the preparation of Creole cuisine. As a child, long before she knew the difference between battuto and affogato, she demonstrated a natural talent for discerning which ingredients were missing or used in excess in recipes. Her culinary gifts are no accident as her family roots include small business owners who made their living as caterers in New Orleans. A fervent student of food and wine, Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was completing a three year sommelier program. TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE is ideal for those with a passion for continental adventure who want to escape the drama of daily life and be transformed by a week in Florence – the center of the Renaissance, the Etruscan city of San Gimingnano or the medieval town of Lucca, creating memories that will last for years on end. Those who bask in attention to detail, pampering and personal service will want to join Lisa for the this extraordinary excursion to Toscana, the Italian province rich in beauty and character and the birthplace of much great Italian art, cuisine, and history.

    Lisa Mushaw: Hi! I am Lisa Mushaw, owner of Treasures of Tuscany - An Epicurean Voyage. Today, we are preparing Panzanella. Panzanella is tomato and bread salad.

    Right now, I am going to show you how to chop an onion. Were going to take an already peeled red onion or maui onion or vidalia, a sweet onion of some sort, and youre going to cut it in half straight down in the middle, like so.

    You are then going to take the half that you cut, putting it face down on your chopping board with the root away from you. You are then going to cut through the onion, I move this out of the way, but not cutting the root, like so. And the thickness at this point really doesnt matter; it would be what your preference is.

    You are then going to turn it sideways, after you turn it sideways you are going to hold it on both ends trying to keep the onion together to a some sense, but watching your fingers while you are doing this so that you dont cut yourself, and then you are going to slice it horizontally, again going as far into the middle as you can without going to the root. In this you want to do two slices across if you can because an onion certainly is thick enough for you to do that. Once youve done that youre then going to chop on the top, coming down creating small squares.

    At this point, I would recommend because again we are making this for salad, that you make these slices a bit thinner going down, like so, and this is creating for you perfectly sliced squares, here you have it, and heres the root.

    Now, were going to prepare the cucumber.