Wednesday, August 15, 2012

panzanella

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well hello there sexy, I've missed you.
i missed your tomato, balsamic & olive oil soaked slightly toasted cubes of bread.
crisp cukes and oh so good & fragrant basil - tossed with a bit of salt i never want to be apart from you for the whole month of august.
quite frankly, you are at your best this month and this month alone.
oh panzanella, how i love you.

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last week at the farmers market i came across the most beautiful black krim tomatoes and funky striped tomatoes from winni farm in meredith.  they were simply breathtaking.
peasant bread from the bread peddler at Saturdays market, basil & cukes from the garden provided me with the makings of my favorite summertime salad- panzanella.
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there is nothing that i love better than fresh august tomatoes - add homemade bread and i am in heaven. the combination of simple fresh eats puts me on cloud nine.
it is hard for me to understand why anyone would want to eat any other way than this - unprocessed, fresh & flavorful equals a totally amazing foodie experience.
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we celebrated my gram's 74th birthday last week - i am so grateful to have many of my close family members all within a stones throw of each other.  we all got together - aunts, uncles, cousins, great grand kids and great aunts to celebrate my grams special day - she deserves the best.
of course, panzanella was the dish i brought to share.
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a good flaky salt brings out the intense flavor in all ready flavorful tomatoes.
good olive oil and balsamic tie everything together.
this salad is best enjoyed the day its made - so make it for your next potluck, BBQ or for a simple summertime  lunch.
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Panzanella
serves 6 as a side or 2 as a main

you will need:
2 cups day old peasant bread, cubed and lightly toasted
1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed
2 - 3 tomatoes cubed
handful of basil torn into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
2 - 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp flaky sea salt

assembly:
cube bread and toast until lightly golden. transfer to a larger bowl and set aside.
peel and cube your cucumbers and add to the bowl - core and cube tomatoes adding to the bowl as you go. drizzle olive oil and balsamic over the cukes, tomatoes and bread- tossing all ingredients until well coated.
hand tear the basil into bite sized pieces, removing any large stems. toss to distribute basil- sprinkle with salt and toss again.

allow to sit for at least 10 minutes prior to serving - allow the tomatoes to release some of their juices which will be absorbed by the bread.

enjoy!


40 comments:

  1. So many delicious things in this salad! I cannot get enough of fresh tomatoes lately. I am sad to think that tomato season will be over soon :( Pouts!!!!! I'm going to a BBQ on Sunday and will bring this panzanella! I know it will be a hit :) hugs!!!!

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    1. Me too, fresh tomatoes this time of year are my weakness - they are just so beautiful and tasty! let me know how it turns out ad if you add anything fun!

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  2. I think you should throw a big party that you cater yourself with all the amazing food you create... and then invite only me. Just let me go crazy in your backyard eating all the food. All of it. By myself. Please :)

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    1. Hahha I love this- its a deal only if you bring the rib & mac n cheeze pizza with you! I will even make sure I have a pair of stretchy pants waiting fo ryou by the door ;0

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  3. I love anything with beautiful and tasty tomatoes and your panzanella looks great!

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    1. Thanks Rowena - your food is always so BEAUTIUFL, this coming from you means alot to me :)

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  4. i swear, whenever you talk about good flaky salt, my mouth starts to water. what brand do you use? also, i am LOVING this panzanella! whenever i see it, i REALLY want to try it, but i'm just not sure about gluten-free bread in it :/ but yours is YUM. happy birthday to your grandmom!!

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    1. I CANNOT live without my good flaky salt; Justin bought me an entire Spice Labs Salt Sampler with 24 different salts from around the world - I love my Celtic Sea Salt for Finishing and a standard kosher salt for seasoning, also I love the pink himilayan sea salt too!

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  5. Panzanella is my dream food. If I could eat it every day for the rest of my life, I would. I haven't been able to eat it in months, but I'm slowly (slooooowly) building up my tolerance for gluten. So sometime in the near future, I will have this panzanella. It's gorgeous, lady.

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    1. Awww Ashlae I am sorry to hear that but am happy to hear that you are Slooowly able to enjoy the foods you have been missing!

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  6. Hooray for tomato season! I could eat salads like this every long summer weekend, preferably with a glass or two of sauvignon blanc. :)

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    1. YES Hooray!!! mmmm wine and panzanella = a perfect summer night :)

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  7. I am so in agreement with you- good salt makes a world of difference. I can't believe I'd been using table salt up until a year ago, I missing out on so much! I could never go back.

    The flavours in this salad sound so fresh! I love your photos too- the sprigs of basil in the centers of the bowls are gorgeous! It's my goal to get as good at picture taking as you ;)

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    1. I could never go back either! I know some that actually bring their own salts when they go out to dinner - those are some serious salt people :)

      You always make me blush when you talk about my photos - in my mind I still have a long way to go but am improving everytime i pick up the camera!

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  8. happy bday to your grams. i bet she loved the salad! this post is just so beautiful.. all the fresh veggies and you and your family all coming together. i cant imagine the winter months with limited tomatoes!

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    1. Thanks Richa- she had such a great day with all her family around!

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  9. Haha I loved your starting, so cute :P
    Your wonderful veggies have me salivating, the fresher the better! :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  10. Gorgeous! Not sure why I've never made panzanella before but I think I should do it soon... looks fabulous! Beautiful pictures, as always. :)

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    1. Whaaat you have never made panzanella before!?! you need to get on that train girl and make some berfore the summer season is up (preferably with a glass of wine in hand :) )

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  11. Panzanella is totally my favourite summertime salad too...and when you can get a nice crusty loaf of homemade bread, combined with fresh basil, tomatoes and cucumbers from your own garden - there's nothing better than that! Now I'm craving it too!

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    1. Mine too! The peasant bread from the bread peddlar at the Saturday morning farmers market is the the best for this!

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  12. Oh my gosh, I really want to try a big bowl of this right about now. It looks so tasty!! Hope your Grams had a wonderful birthday. :)

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    1. She had an awesome day :)

      This is one of my favorite lunches to make- so easy to make just a single size serving whenever a craving hits!

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  13. those tomatoes look rad! i will have to venture out of my red, yellow, and orange tomato world and pick some of those stripey ones up at the next farmer's market!

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    1. I LOVE finding amazing heirloom tomatoes they are totally my weakness!

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  14. that looks phenomenal! oh yum. I bet the bread just soaks up the sauce beautifully! and with those fabulous tomatoes -- wow! gorgeous photos as always:)

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    1. Thank you, it was pretty amazing! The slightly toasted bread totally soaks up the dressing, so so good! xo

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  15. Oh my goodness, I haven't panzanella yet this summer! Can't wait - I love it so much, but I'm trying to patiently wait for tomatoes from my own garden because it makes such a difference. Your tomatoes look so awesome, their skin is beautiful. And your salad - gorgeous!

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    1. Fresh home grown tomatoes totally make a world of difference - aren't the colors of the tomatoes incredible!

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  16. This made me so homesick for Italy! There was a bar near where I lived that served apertivo (free food- mostly salads and finger foods, with the purchase of a drink), and VERY often my roommate and I would walk over, have a glass of wine and several servings of panzanella. Because I don't think I'll be returning to Italy anytime soon, I think I need to make this ASAP!

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    1. I notice that apertivo is very popular every where but in the US - my lebanese friend couldn't get over they did not serve anything with drinks :)

      Wine + Panzanella = love!

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  17. Panzanella is definitely one of my favorite summer recipe !

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  18. I love pancakes but it's really hard to find a good buckwheat pancake, either in the markets or in a restaurant. Ihop discontinued them years ago and Aunt Jemima stopped making them as well. Does anyone know of a good mix?

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  19. Easy to make it,but so delicious..thanks for share

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  20. Wow, this looks so fresh and appetizing. Love Panzanella.
    Warm regards, Purabi Naha (Cosmopolitan Currymania)

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  21. Whoa, am I permitted to use the word I SWEAR? Ok, If I'm not, I just need to beg you to allow me for once, I swear this is one of the best recipes I'll come across online. Those kindle books only make money without giving us the best.

    Though, I'm gonna try this on a SAturday morning :)

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Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!