Sunday, August 12, 2007

Panzanella


I've been wanting to make this salad for over a year now and, finally, the perfect opportunity came up. Yesterday was my niece, Courtney's, first birthday party. It had been crazy hot and humid all week. Luckily, yesterday, while it was still very warm, the humidity wasn't quite so bad so you were able to handle sitting outside (in the shade) for a few hours. This salad worked perfectly because it was light but filling and all the vegetables are in season so they tasted fantastic.

Kay can't really comment on this since she was much too busy yesterday running around to actually eat. I did manage to shove a piece of cucumber in her mouth as she ran by though and she didn't complain. I think if I was making it for just the three of us at home, I'd put more bread and cucumbers and less of the peppers and tomatoes so that she could pick out the stuff she likes without ruining it for the rest of us.

This was really fast and easy and delicious and I suggest everyone make it right now! (I'm seriously regretting taking all of it to the party - I just might need to make some more today.)

Panzanella

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups cubed Vienna, Italian, or French bread
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 English cucumber, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
20 basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained

for dressing:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the dressing, whisk together the ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes while still warm and toss with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Wait at least half an hour before serving so that flavors can blend.

12 servings

I made only slight changes to Ina Garten's recipe.

3 comments:

Holler said...

The bread soaks up all the flavours, doesn't it? I haven't made this before, but I have watched it made and imagine that it tastes great!
By the way i love your new blog photo of you and Kayleigh! What cheesey grins!

Champsleeve said...

The bread really does soak up tons of flavor but surprising doesn't get soggy.

My vanity wanted to put a very posed and lovely picture (or at least one without my glasses!) up there but this picture reflects what we usually look like so I gave in and posted it!

Holler said...

It's great, it is such a happy picture!