Recipe: Panzanella (adapted from a recipe by New York Chef Sara Jenkins)
Panzanella was dreamed up as a way to use up old, stale bread. Sounds appetizing, right? But like panade (stale bread, greens, onions and scraps of cheese baked in broth) and coq au vin (tough chicken stewed in wine until it's edible), its delicious results have transcended the utilitarian origins.The weather this summer has the tomato plants and basil in my backyard garden looking particularly bountiful. And thanks to my 9-year-old's predilection for baguettes, we've almost always got stale ends littering our kitchen. This may well be our summer of panzanella.
- 1 cup stale toasted bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup whole basil leaves
- Red wine vinegar to taste
- Olive oil to taste
- Salt to taste
Sprinkle the toasted bread with a little water to soften and place into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, radishes and basil. Dress with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt to taste. Allow the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. You can also prepare it a few hours ahead of time and allow it to sit for a couple of hours.
Yield: 4 servings as an appetizer
This recipe was adapted by Jessica Webster and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Aug. 3, 2011.