Panzanella is a salad originating in the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, and Lazio. Basically, it’s a cuisine of homegrown ingredients and in Italy is traditionally prepared during the summer season.  

Almost any type of vegetable can be added from the garden such as; radishes, peppers, carrots, corn and green onions. Hard boiled eggs, olives, grilled chicken & shrimp can also be added to round out the dish.

In the Lazio Region of Italy, tomatoes and onions are omitted. Instead, capers, garlic, anchovies, hot red pepper flakes and parsley are pulverized together with a mortar and pestle.

The original intention behind this dish is the use of day-old or sometimes, few-day old bread. Traditionally, the bread is cubed then soaked in water until soft; then all the moisture is squeezed out until dry. The bread is then chopped or crumbled into small pieces. 

I personally prefer to use the day old bread cubes and either sauté slowly in olive oil with a little garlic for 5-10 minutes, or toast in 350 degree oven until light brown. Either way you choose start with really good bread and you can’t go wrong.  



Makes 4 servings | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 cups day old very good Italian or French bread, cubed

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, split; or 4 vine-ripen tomatoes quartered

4 leaves of basil

1 fresh thyme leaf, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 large red onion, chopped 1/4 inch pieces

1 stalk celery, chopped 1/4 inch pieces

1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled & split seeded and chopped

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups hearts of romaine, torn into small pieces 

Soak bread in water until it softens, then squeeze all water out. 

Or, heat a large sauté pan to medium temperature add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add bread and slowly cook until bread is light brown tossing occasionally. 

Make a dressing in the bottom of a large salad bowl with vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper, garlic, and onion. Allow to marinate two minutes and then add olive oil and mix well. Add tomatoes, celery, and cucumber, Tear basil leaves and add to salad with romaine. Toss and serve immediately.  

Additional Greens: radicchio, heart of escarole, Arugula, chicory

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Shrove Tuesday

Join me CreateTV George Hirsch Lifestyle Sat March 9th 7AM/7PM + Sun 10th 12PMest

aka..Pancake Tuesday. Since aprox. the 12th century this celebration marks the days preceding lent by using valuable ingredients like eggs, milk and sugar; hence cooking up pancakes or the thin pancake, the crepe.


Pancakes are one of the earliest forms of bread and are served up geographically in many different ways. You can be-all-traditional with baking powder, or try prospecting with sourdough pancakes like the early pioneers. Flip’em with oatmeal or buckwheat when in Vermont; or for a Dutch style treat serve with lemon, powdered sugar and jam. Substitute the flour for cornmeal and you’ll be enjoying it as Native American speciality.

Go Pollack by designing your own pancake creations with sliced apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts.  


Berry Crepes

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

¼ cup raspberry jam

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

2-3 drops vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1 Tablespoon granulated cane sugar

Confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup Fresh whipped cream

8 Fresh mint leaves

Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and slowly add the milk and egg yolks, using a whisk to avoid lumps.  Stir in the cream, melted butter, and vanilla.  

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Right before making the crepes, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the beaten egg whites in to the flour mixture.

Preheat a 6-inch nonstick skillet & spray with vegetable spray.  When the pan is very hot, pour in 2 Tablespoons of the batter and swirl it around.  Cook 1 minute, turn and cook another minute on the other side.  Remove and set aside.  

Continue making crepes with remaining batter.

Spread two teaspoon of raspberry jam in the middle of each crepe, add a few mixed berries.

Roll up and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.  

Serve two crepes per serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and top off the crepes with the fresh mint leaves.

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Top Soup

 Tune-in + Join me Create TV GHL Sat 11/25 9AM 9PM + Sun 11/25 3PM

The University of Illinois published a study based on matching personalities with soup preferences a few years back in the Journal of Database Marketing Lifestyle and Personality Clusters. The four most popular soups were chicken noodle, tomato, minestrone and vegetable. These four top soups were cross-tabulated with personality and lifestyle traits. What's your soup say about you?

click    to enjoy Potato Leek Soup recipe

click to enjoy Potato Leek Soup recipe

The Findings:

Chicken noodle soup; you score high on the church-going scale, are fond of pets, are more likely to be stubborn and less likely to be outdoorsy.

Minestrone; you were more likely to be physically fit, nutritionally conscious, family spirited, unlikely to own a pet and also on a restricted diet.

Vegetable soup; was a homebody at heart, less likely to be a world traveler, less likely to be spontaneous and more likely to read family and home magazines.  

Tomato soup; by contrast, seeks more adventure, were more likely to be social and also tended to enjoy books and pets.

Soup, especially this chilly time of year, is comforting to the body and soul. Delighted that my Tomato Soup falls into the top four! 

reference; Journal of Database Marketing Lifestyle and Personality Clusters

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