Friday, July 9, 2010


I had so much to write about from last weekend (and I still have one more restaurant post I haven't done yet!) that I haven't been writing about cooking much this week, and my photos and recipes are starting to pile up. I'll start with the most recent, so here's something I made last night.

Panzanella is a bread salad, but tomatoes are really the star of the dish. It's kind of a dichotomy though - it's a peasant-style dish because it involves stale bread, but because the flavors and ingredients are very simple it should be made with really good, fresh tomatoes.

3 medium beefsteak tomatoes
1/2 medium cucumber
1/4 white onion
2 large slices of good country or Italian bread, preferably stale
2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
basil, for garnish

If your bread is not stale (and mine wasn't): Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into crouton size cubes and toast in oven for about 15 minutes, or until very crispy on the outside. If your bread is stale, just cut into cubes.

Cut tomatoes into medium/large pieces - cut into wedges and then cut in half. Slice the onion into very thin pieces. Slice the cucumber into very thin slices.

Check out those knife skills. Watch out, Top Chef!

Combine the tomato, cucumber, and onion in a bowl. When ready to serve, add the bread cubes, olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients.

It's such a fresh, light salad for summer. You can chop up basil and mix in with the dish, or just add a few leaves for garnish. Even though I love basil, I actually left it out. I really enjoyed the slightly sweet taste of the tomatoes and cucumbers on their own. I chopped the cucumber and onion very thin so that tomatoes are the main flavor of the dish, but you can really do it anyway you long as you have great, fresh ingredients you can't go wrong.


  1. i LOVE panzanella! this inspired me to try to make my own. i bought the supplies yesterday, so just letting my bread get a little stale and my tomatoes get a little riper. i'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

  2. Yay! Tell me how it turns out! I'm sure it will be great.

  3. having my first it!!! the fresh jersey tomatoes make it just a wonderful light dinner...

  4. okay, so my panzanella came out great! i'm so happy i tried this. i used heirloom tomatoes because they were so pretty and fresh looking (and stupidly expensive...but i couldn't resist). tim loved it, too. thanks for the recipe.