Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.
Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Carrabba's Restaurant Recipe
1 loaf of crusty rustic bread, about 1 pound, anywhere from 1-3 days old
1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
2 ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
3 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put the bread in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Top with a plate to keep the bread submerged, and let stand until the bread softens, 20 to 30 minutes.
Put the onion in a small bowl and add cold water to cover. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Drain the bread. Break up and squeeze the soaked bread to remove excess water, just like wringing a sponge. Shred the bread into bite size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and add the tomato, cucumber, soaked red onion, and arugula. Mix well.
Pour the vinegar into a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Pour over the bread mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.