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Spiedini and Panzanella Salad


For the Spiedini:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork tenderloin, petite filet of beef or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch cubes

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste or 6 filets, minced and pasted (optional but recommended)

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • 1 large shallot, grated or finely chopped

  • About 4 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon Acacia (light in color and flavor) honey or light agave or 2 teaspoons fine sugar

  • About 3/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 small bulbs fennel, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 8 per bulb)

  • 16 cipollini onions or wedges of small red onions

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

  • 16 fresh bay leaves

For the Salad:

  • 2 long red field or frying peppers

  • 1 pound stale peasant bread, cubed or torn into bite-size pieces

  • 5 very ripe tomatoes, divided

  • About 1/4 cup red wine or sherry vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic, pasted or grated plus 2 cloves very thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 3 filets, chopped and pasted

  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped

  • About 1/2 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup pitted Gaeta or other black olives, coarsely chopped

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons capers, drained or rinsed

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley tops

  • 1 small onion, very thinly sliced

  • A fat handful of basil leaves, torn

  • Salt and pepper


Place the meat in a shallow dish. Whisk marinade ingredients together and pour half over the meat; let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Season the remaining dressing with salt and pepper and reserve to pass at the table.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil, salt it and add fennel. Blanch 3 minutes, remove and cold shock; drain. Repeat with onions then peel off skins, if using cipollinis.

While the meat is marinating, broil or char peppers for the salad over an open flame to blister all over. Place in a bowl to cool and loosen skins then peel, seed and coarsely chop.

Preheat oven to 400°F and toast bread cubes until golden. Remove and cool.

Purée 1 tomato in a high-speed blender with vinegar, garlic, anchovy and chili pepper, and stream in oil. Or, halve the tomato and push it cut-side down through a strainer or sieve into bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients.

Preheat broiler, grill or grill pan to high.

Skewer the meat with bay leaves and the fennel, bay and onion on separate skewers. Grill or broil meat about 4-5 minutes on each side and the vegetable skewers about 2-3 minutes each side as well.

To finish the salad, pour dressing into a large bowl, add bread and toss to coat. Coarsely chop remaining tomatoes and add them to bowl with chopped roasted peppers, olives, capers, parsley, onions and basil. Toss to combine and season the salad with salt and pepper.

Serve meat with lemon wedges and reserved dressing at the table with salad alongside.