Sunday, March 30, 2008

Panzanella

This is my new favorite salad. It is basically a regular cucumber tomato salad with red wine vinaigrette but with homemade croutons in it. The croutons make it. The real problem was trying not to eat all the croutons before they made it into the salad.



For the salad:
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ loaf leftover French bread (preferably from Albertson’s because Albie’s French bread should be it’s own food group with a very high daily requirement.), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp oregano
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes, as many as you want (I use A LOT)
10-15 basil leaves, thinly sliced

In a large skillet over medium low heat, add olive oil. Add the bread, salt and oregano. Cook, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

In a large bowl, mix the cucumber, red pepper, green pepper, green onion, tomatoes and basil. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare vinaigrette, combine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and ground pepper in a blender. Blend until well incorporated. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Season with more pepper and salt if desired.

Do not add all the vinaigrette to the salad. It makes a lot. Add to the salad gradually until you reach your desired amount.

Yields 6 servings.

Rookie's Notes: Ethan suggested that next time I add chunks of mozzarella to the salad. If I liked cheese, I am sure that would be good. I hate cheese but I love Ethan, so I will add the cheese next time.

No comments: