Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bread Salad/Panzanella

I knew The Residents weren't going to go for this and IN SPITE of the fact that it was very good and I ate a lot of it, they didn't. Go for it OR eat a lot of it. In all fairness, I think it's a cultural thing. Wet bread. We be callin' it dressing, I do believe.

But I'll make it again, if just for me. The tomatoes here are on their last legs...we're hoarding them now, and real tomatoes are a necessity here. As is fresh basil.

I had half a loaf of the artisanal bread we're so in love with. I had four medium sized tomatoes. I had a branch of fresh basil, and a medium red onion.

About 30 years ago my grandmother planted elephant garlic, and I have some of it growing in the backyard. When I dug it up this year, I took several cloves, roasted them sweet, and then pureed them with olive oil and put it in the refrigerator. So last night I took a couple tablespoons of the garlic puree, put it in the bottom of a baking pan with a couple of swirls of additional olive oil and heated it up in a 350 degree oven. Cubed the leftover artisanal bread, tossed it in the garlic puree, and then roasted the cubes until they were nice and brown. That was to keep them from getting soggy and it did.

I have a wonderful old McCoy bowl...a dark maroonish color with scallops up the side. Deep. I put in the toasted and cooled bread, the cut-up tomatoes, the finely diced onion and the basil...chiffonaded (?). Poured in about 1/4 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing, a pinch or two of kosher salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Tossed it and let it stand for about five minutes.

THE BREAD WASN'T SOGGY, it was lovely crisp with the juices soaked into it, but The Not Nice Kid wasn't having any of it and when she told The Big Boy that it was wet bread, he didn't even taste it. The Nice Kid ate some straight out of the bowl, but she wasn't crazy about the concept.

And that's the wasn't the food, it was the idea. My bad. I TRIED to explain that this was about a 200-year-old recipe so obviously SOMETHING about it must be right, but they weren't having it. Wet bread.

But that's okay. They tried it, liked it, chose not to eat it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and like I said, it will be back!!

1 comment:

Le laquet said...

See I was dribbling reading the recipe - Giorgio Locatelli makes a mean version of this ... yum!