Food, fashion and fighting for a good cause

NYC is one of the best places to immerse yourself in artful living. You can eat fabulous food, see inspiring design and fawn over incredible style, all in the same city block.

This weekend, thousands of loyal New Yorkers turned out to enjoy all of the above at DIFFA annual fundraising event and the Architectual Digest Home Show.
The event drew an overflowing crowd, who, despite the economic woes, were nothing but celebratory about the cause, the cure, and the cuisine.

The Architectural design felt like innovative art installations. DIFFA showed off a maze of amazing tablescapes created by talented designers. It was like a gallery showing of still life art.

Dozens of restaurants from NY came out to support, serving delicious bites of what they do best.
On behalf of our partnership with Henri Bendel and our commitment to support this cause, Bella Cucina was honored to participate.

The highlight of the day was the guest chef demo I did at the culinary pavilion at the Architectual Digest show .
Unlike typical small galley kitchens in New York where you can barely turnaround from the the stove to the sink, this kitchen stage was set with beautifully designed cabinetry and a complete array of the latest stainless appliances from Miele.

I made one of my favorite new antipasti appetizers, Pane Insalata, using our Pane Rustico Italian Flatbread, Olivada Olive Pesto and fresh gorgeous arugula greens from the Union Square Farmer's Market.

They lined out the back of the pavilion by the dozens to taste the dish {ok, so it was lunchtime!} We all had lots of fun and it was a great experience for me.

Here is the recipe we prepared:


1 sheet Pane Rustico Italian Flatbread
½ cup Olivada Olive Pesto
small handful of arugula greens
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Wild Oregano & Sage Salt
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
shavings of parmesan cheese

In a 350 degree oven, bake the sheet of flatbread in the oven until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes {watch carefully- it cooks fast!}. Break into 10-12 rough hewn pieces. Spoon the olive pesto over the sheet of flatbread evenly, leaving about an inch of the bread plain.
In a small bowl, add the lemon juice and salt, and whisk in the oil until it is emulsified. Toss a one Tablespoons with a handful of greens and dress lightly, just until coated. Place on the flatbread. Top with shavings of cheese.

Serve immediately.
*note: the pane will become soggy if prepared with the other ingredients too early. Put together about 15-20 minutes before serving.

All in a day's work. It doesn't get much better than that!

Buon appetito!
copyright 2009 Alisa Barry

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