Frese al Pomodoro (Frese with Tomato)

26 Jun

This is a simple recipe for an appetizing summer snack.  Frese are an excellent alternative to bread for appetizers, quick to prepare and definitely delicious to taste.  They are called frese in Calabria, frise or friselle in Puglia and freselle in Naples; it does not matter what you want to call them, they are wonderful!!  Frese, a type of twice-baked bread, are made with durum wheat. The ring shaped dough is baked until almost done, then cut in half and toasted in the oven again until it is as hard as a rock. This type of bread is an ancient recipe from the traditional peasant cuisine of southern Italy.  In the past frese were commonly used in place of bread; in fact, because they are dried they keep longer. To enjoy frese you should first wet them with water or tomato juice. The amount of water and the soaking time are personal: obviously more for a soft texture and less for a crunchier snack. You can serve them with fresh tomato, oregano, salt and olive oil. They are also very tasty with garlic and other ingredients for topping such as red pepper, black olives, tuna or anchovies. Be creative and use your favorite Mediterranean topping!

Preparation time: 30 minutes       Servings: 4

Fresa con pomodoro

4 frese
4 large tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin)

1. Peel the tomatoes after blanching in boiling water for approximately 1 minute. This procedure allows  to remove the skin more easily. Cube the tomatoes, season with salt and let stand for about 10-15 minutes
2. Rub frese with garlic
3. Wet frese with plenty of tomato juice and let rest for about 15 minutes
4. Add olive oil and oregano to tomatoes.  Mix well and spread on frese.

Note: You can substitute tomatoes with cherry tomatoes, 4 cherry tomatoes per each fresa. – Paola

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