Monday, April 19, 2010

Panzanella Panzanella!!!

Well, you might not stroll away with the most dazzling minty, kissable breath after eating this, but I can assure you one thing: your tummy will be most satisfied and happy.

Goodness, for whatever reason, I needed this salad today and so did my husband.

We both commented on how it hit the spot for us both in weird ways. For hubs, it was the good bread, lightly toasted in olive oil with an artisan crunch. For me, it was the juicy cucumbers mixed with basil, tomato, and garlic.

And since summer is lurking its verdant, hot head around the corner, may I add that if you need a killer potluck salad at some point, this might be the one worth considering. It would really compliment any corn on the cob, any flank steak, any grilled chicken, any pork skewers, anything anything, quite beautifully.

Next time I make this, which won't be too long off in the future, goat cheese will have to be added. It just seems like the perfect addition. Right??

By the way, this recipe is supposed to serve between 10-12 peeps, so we grossly shrunk it down and kinda just improvised with measurements, but here is the exact recipe in full.

Ina Garten, you've done it again! Bless you.

{adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!}

3 Tbsp good olive oil
6 cups cubed artisan bread (we used a French baguette)
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, sliced, and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red AND yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (I diced mine)
Lots of basil, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp capers, drained (we omitted this)

For the vinaigrette:

1 tsp garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp champagne vinegar (we just used white wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet and add bread cubes. Season with 1 tsp salt and cook over medium high heat until each cube is nicely browned. Remove from heat.

For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients using a whisk. Taste for salt/pepper adjustment.

In a large bowl, combine cut veggies, basil, and capers. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the browned bread cubes, as well as the dressing, toss together lightly, and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes for flavors to blend.


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