Tuesday, November 20, 2012

panzanella




I like this Italian salad for the obvious reason that it is addictively delicious. And that we can use up leftover breads. Especially when there is a little more than usual, after a frenzied bread-baking period.
And I can pretend that I am eating healthy as there are  some vegetables in here --( compare it to bread pudding! another item that I like ). The other day we had to do a lot of work in the yard, including some big time tree pruning. By the time it was done, we really appreciated the crunch and chewiness of this salad. Along with a glass of wine, it tasted like heaven!

I am not going to do the ingredients list for this one. hehe

Let's  go straight to the making. This is what  I did -- dont know if it's the right way, but it worked fr me.

400° F oven. Halve a baguette lengthwise or cut long thick strips of a boule on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat two or three tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Medium heat. Add a few crushed - 4 or 5 - cloves of garlic. Let'em sweat in there. (serves them right! ). Now is the time to prepare the veggies you want to add. I had some yellow cherry tomatoes -- about 2 cups, an orange bell pepper, a few diced  red tomatoes, and some arugula. Of course, a sliced red onion should be there. And chopped fresh basil. . Put all these except the arugula in a large mixing bowl. Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Check the garlic. Add crushed red pepper flakes to the oil, if you like. I did. You may take out the garlic chunks now, if you prefer. Pour in the hot  garlic oil into the mixing bowl with the veggies. . Toss well. Get the toasted bread out of the oven, and tear  to bite sized pieces. Add that to the bowl. Toss . Add the arugula. Toss. A round of olive oil, if you like. Sprinkle goat cheese on top. Garnish with more basil. Enjoy with a glass of wine. :)

PS: You may add other veggies to this salad, grilled or pan-seared for a minute or two. Zucchini, butternut squash, green beans, mushrooms and asparagus -- all will add spice and substance to the experience. and what if we added various meats or fish? wow.

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