"Crusty, strong-textured ciabatta is the ideal bread. The holes drink in the juice, but the bread is strong enough that it won't fall apart. These big stuffed breads look great, taste great, and are invariably messy to eat. Tomatoes of choice are Brandywines, Striped Germans, Carmellos, and Costoluto Genovese." - Deborah Madison
|1 lb||ciabbata loaf|
|2||tomatoes (big, ripe, juicy)|
|1||bell pepper (red or yellow, roasted, peeled, and quartered)|
|4 oz||mozzarella (fresh, or other favorite cheese, sliced)|
|1 T||marjoram (fresh, chopped)|
|1 T||parsley (fresh, chopped)|
|1 clv||garlic (minced)|
|1⁄3 c||olive oil (extra virgin)|
|4 T||red wine vinegar (aged)|
|pepper (freshly ground)|
|1⁄4 c||basil (fresh, leaves intact)|
Slice the top third off the loaf of bread and set it aside. Pull out the inside. (You can use it to make bread crumbs.)
Make an herb vinaigrette. Finely chop the herbs with the garlic, then add the olive oil. Mix well, then add the vinegar and 1/4 tsp of salt, and season with pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Brush the inside of the bread with some of the dressing, then layer in sliced tomatoes, bell pepper, and cheese. Bathe each layer with the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
Add the top of the bread, press down, and cut into quarters or sixths. This packs well if wrapped tightly.