Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Summer in a Bowl















Okay, this is completely off-topic (and I'll soon have a new Novel 101 post), but this is something I have to share. This is my new favorite, to-die-for recipe. One of those I-could-eat-this-everyday recipes. And, it's healthy, easy and versatile.

I found it by going to one of my favorite sites, The Food Network. And it's from one of my cooking idols, Ina Garten. Love, love, love her.

Here it is, PANZANELLA, with my changes in bold:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)--I used olive bread. Yum.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes--I used those little cherub cherry tomatoes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick--I didn't use a hothouse
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained--I left these guys out

For the vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar--I used white wine vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

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 vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

This rocks. It's even great the next day for lunch. I added diced pepperoni and salami one night to make it more of a meal all by itself. Another time I'll probably add some leftover grilled chicken.

Anyway, enjoy.

5 comments:

Carleen Brice said...

Yum!

Katie Alender said...

Wow! That looks amazing! I must strong-arm the husb into making it for me immediately! LOL.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

It really is good . . . let me know how you guys like it!

debra said...

This is absolutely beautiful, Judy. I can't wait to try it. Wouldn't it be great with veggies fresh from the garden.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Absolutely, Debra--I can't wait to harvest my little crops of tomatoes and basil.