italian bread salad

I love to use burrata on my bread salad!

I love to use burrata on my Italian bread salad!

Italian bread salad or Panzanella is one of my favorite dishes to create during the summer because it showcases one of the best fruits of the season, the tomato. You can make it even better by adding fresh burrata cheese and balsamic glaze. I found a Barolo syrup infused with truffle and it’s amazing on this salad! One thing I find is that if you mix the salad prior to adding the bread, the salt will draw some of the water out of the tomatoes. This adds great flavor and moisture to the bread.

Ingredients
3 cups sourdough bread cut into 1 inch cubes
Fresh burrata cheese
2 medium heirloom tomatos
8 basil leaves chopped
1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper

Place the cubed bread onto a baking sheet and cook at 400° F tossing every few minutes until evenly browned. Meanwhile cut the tomatoes into a large dice and thinly slice onion. Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl. Finally, add bread and toss. Top with Burrata and enjoy the best Italian bread salad.

If you are interested in this handmade artisan pottery from the fabulous Karen Scott of Ojai click here!

emporium thai cuisine

Crab curry is just one of the more uncommon specialties at Emporium Thai  Cuisine

Crab curry is just one of the more uncommon specialties at Emporium Thai Cuisine

Located in Westwood, Emporium Thai Cuisine asserts its originality by specializing in southern Thai fare. You will find items not typically found at other Thai restaurants in the LA area. It does however share many similar specialties with the well know Jitlada restaurant and this is no coincidence. Founder of Emporium Thai Cuisine, John Sungkamee’s two siblings own Jitlada and many of the shared recipes were taught to them decades ago by their mother.

I love the depth and complexity of the spices used in the dishes and you won’t find the homemade chile sauces anywhere else in southern California. This is definitely a place to step out of your comfort zone and order something other than Pad Thai. Items not to be missed: Crying Tiger Beef, Coco Mango Salad with Fried Tofu, Pad Prik King with Crispy Pork, and Spicy Mussel Soup. If you have the opportunity to chat with the owner, do so. John will warmly welcome you into Sungkamee the family.

Crying Tiger Beef soooo good!

Crying Tiger Beef soooo good!

Pad Prik King is served with fried tofu or or crispy pork belly.

Pad Prik King is served with fried tofu or or crispy pork belly.

Khao Yam is a southern Thai rice salad with grated coconut and dried shrimp.

Khao Yam is a southern Thai rice salad with grated coconut and dried shrimp.

Coco Mango Salad with fried tofu

Coco Mango Salad with fried tofu

Astoundingly gracious host and owner John Sungkamee and me.

Astoundingly gracious host and owner John Sungkamee and me.

the whole animal

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael's Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael’s Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

This summer Michael’s Restaurant Group in Long Beach is featuring the “whole animal” menu at all three of its restaurants: Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s On Naples, and Chianina. The whole animal concept involves utilizing the entire animal in a variety of menu options. I was lucky enough to sample many of these delicious offerings. Here’s what you have to look forward to -

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael's Pizzeria.

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael’s Pizzeria.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael's On Naples.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael’s On Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael's Of Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael’s Of Naples.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette. Truly great!

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette at Chianina. Truly great!

Bacon gelato at Chianina -  this actually works!

Bacon gelato at Chianina – this actually works!

I love the emphasis of the whole animal menu. It forces you to try things you may not have considered gourmet in past. Chef David Coleman’s menu is successful at all three restaurants. Cheers to new food experiences in Long Beach!

tart at farmer’s daughter

Tart

Tart, located within the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles recently showcased its new summer menu as spring comes to an end. The menu emphasizes fresh seasonal ingredients with creative riffs inspired by the diverse heritage of Angelinos . Chef Nick Erven has an unfair advantage over the competiion because Tart is located a stones throw away from the historic LA Farmer’s Market. The vegetables were as fresh as they come and the pork belly melted my heart and in my mouth.

Black Ballin' Punch. It'll get you and a few friends happy!

Black Ballin’ Punch. It’ll get you and a few friends happy!

Yummy pickled summer squash with lavender.

Yummy pickled summer squash with lavender.

Tart_summer_menu

Outdoor seating and fireplace!

Outdoor seating and fireplace!

Fresh pea tendrils make this grilled peach and burrata salad so unique.

Fresh pea tendrils make this grilled peach and burrata salad so unique.

Heirloom tomato salad.

Heirloom tomato salad.

Scotch Egg Tartare.

Scotch Egg Tartare.

Tart at Farmer’s Daughter
115 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036