Fresh Tomato Rolls — Panini Ripieni Arrotolati

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Cecile Brunner  Rose Bud
Cecil Bruner Rose started from Grandma’s Climber

  My Dad installed a huge window in Grandma’s kitchen so she could look out at her rose garden and gaze past the open fields to the ocean miles away.  Morning sun streaming in as the wood stove warms the room against the foggy cold and fresh bread comes out of the oven, the yeasty aroma intoxicating. My love of bread goes that far back, in this time, barely three, yet the memories are as clear as can be. Pudgy fingers heap sweet butter and blackberry jam on the warm thick cut slices as my darling Grandma fixed herself a cup of tea, preferably Constant Comment.

Afterwards, we’d go out and visit her roses, she would tell me the names as she deadheaded the spent blossoms and coaxed the new buds to bloom. “Let’s go check the garden,” she’d say as we turned the corner of the big farm house and entered her vegetable garden, “tomatoes should be ripe.”  Grabbing her hand and a big colander we would harvest the ripest ones and return back to the kitchen,  possibly to put on a pot of beans.

Grandma's Colandar
Julia’s  Colander

When I saw these wonderful rolls in La Cucina Italiana, I couldn’t help but be totally immersed in a sensory memory of smells, tastes, and visions of crusty bread and decided to give them a try. I bake bread infrequently, partially because it takes such a long time, and at this stage in life bread is not my best friend.  So, with ambition,  I set aside a whole Sunday, dedicated Panini Pipieni Arrotolati, those rolled sandwiches with oven roasted tomatoes. The smell of the yeast, the smooth elasticity of kneaded bread, just at the right stage to set aside to rise made me think of Grandma’s strong arms and flexible fingers.  The recipe says it is a step by step version, but I found that if someone was not familiar with baking yeast breads they might be confused periodically along the way. I also should note that every one’s room temperature is different and there is a reason breads rise nicely in 75+ degree, draft free environs. (Mine is decidedly not that warm and some patience was required while waiting for the dough to double in size.) For a special treat, I added fresh basil to the tomatoes and dusted the rolls with black truffle salt just before baking.

Fresh Tomato Rolls
Fresh Tomato Rolls with Basil and Black Truffle Salt

The full recipe is posted online at La Cucina Italiana, Fresh Tomato Rolls. If you are looking for black truffle salt I recommend purchasing from La Buona Tavola/Truffle Cafe in Seattle. Theirs is a 10% concentration and truly sublime.

I hope you can take some time and maybe cook up and relive a favorite memory or two.

PS: 11 more days to enter the Peko Peko Cookbook Giveway!  With just a comment it could be yours!

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4 Responses to Fresh Tomato Rolls — Panini Ripieni Arrotolati

  1. Bentobird says:

    Gorgeous post. I loved reading of your beautifully textured kitchen and garden memories, just wonderful. I can smell baking bread, roses, garden dew and….black truffle salt! Thanks for sharing Robin!

  2. Robin says:

    Writing from the heart comes the easiest, just letting the memories flow. I am so pleased this one tickled your senses Jenn!

  3. Lyndsey says:

    What a wonderful post, I love your writing. I can picture it all and with the aroma of the bread baking in the background. Reminds me of my grandmother, always baking bread and had fresh grown tomatoes. Your bread turned out really good, what a treat.

  4. Robin says:

    Dear Lyndsey,
    Your kind comments are so welcome and encouraging and I am so happy my words brought back good memories for you. Happy Weekend friend!

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