Much lighter and healthier than crackers or breadsticks, fresella is a slice of dry, stale bread, sometimes re-baked. It doesn’t contain any fats or preservatives and, if kept well, it can be kept for a long time.
A slice of dry bread is hard, but softens in the water.
Neapolitan sailors used to load a rich supply of it to consume it, during long periods of navigation, sponging it in a little sea water that softened and salted it.
When you ask for a mussel soup in restaurants in Napoli it is usually served on freselle.
Fresella is a very versatile base and you can season it as you like. During Winter, in Napoli, we use to cover it with a rich caponata or even with beans fried in a pan with garlic, oil,red hot chili pepper and parsley. The possibilities are endless. For Summer you can dress your freselle with octopus salad or with beans salad or simply with cherry tomatoes, herbs and olive oil. Beside a couple of suggetions we are hungry to present Freselle di Mare (freselle with seafood salad).
1. Freselle with beans – Prepare a bean salad with 350 grams of boiled beans, 1 small onion, a clove of minced garlic, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, parsley, salt and lemon.
Place 4 freselle on a plate or tray and just dip them in water or seawater. Dress the freselle with the bean salad and serve.
2. Freselle with tomato –
For 4 freselle prepare a mixture of 200 grams of cherry tomatoes, 1 onion 10/5 black olives, oregano, basil, salt, extra virgin olive oil. Mix well, season the freselle and serve.
3. Freselle with seafood salad –
8 wheat freselle
1 kg mussels
750 g clams
550 g shrimp
500 g squid
1 clove Garlic
2 carrots (optional)
2 sticks of celery (optional)
1 leaf laurel (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
parsley to taste
salt up to taste
black pepper to taste
After taking care of them, wash the mussels and clams well with cold water.
Wash the cuttlefish and dry them with a paper towel and cut them into cubes or rings.
Clean the shrimp and remove the intestines
Prepare a pot of water, white wine, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Dip the cuttlefish, cover and cook for two minutes. Then drain, dry and set aside to cool.
In the same water you used for the cuttlefish, boil the prawns. Once ready, drain and set aside. Repeat the same process again using the same cooking water for the clams and then also for the mussels.
Once ready, discard the shells and keep the fruits (leave some fruit in the shell to decorate) and mix with the cuttlefish and shrimp.
In a small bowl, prepare a marinade with a large finely chopped clove of garlic, the juice of a lemon, parsley, salt and pepper (if you like it you can experiment with the variations that include the addition of green celery, carrots or even green olives) . Mix everything with extra virgin olive oil and all the seafood you have prepared.
Mix well and let it rest for a couple of hours. Place the freselle on a tray and quickly immerse them in the water. Season the freselle with the seafood salad and enjoy your Neapolitan Summer with the flavor of Mediterranean sea!