panzanella – my style

spring is here with new grass for my front yard and temps in the humid mid to upper eighties and I made something both old and new.  Z doesn’t really like tomatoes or soggy bread so panzanella hasn’t really been on my radar since we got married.  Last night I bucked the trend and made it anyhow.  It is panzanella my style and is a few tweaks from classic.

  • demi loaf of crusty bread – in this case jalapeno cheddar cut into 1″ slices
  • vine-ripe tomatoes cut into bite size chunks – deseeded
  • english cucumber cut into bite size chunks
  • red onion half moons thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • butter
  • salt & freshly ground pepper

Slice your bread and lightly butter – toast in grill pan or panini maker – let cool slightly and tear into bite size chunks.

While your bread toasts toss the cucumber, tomatoes and onions together in a large bowl. Dress to taste with vinegar and olive oil.   Add bread and toss one more time.  Serve with a generous grind of pepper and a sprinkle of salt.

So, what’s different from traditional panzanella?  The bread – instead of stale bread soaked in water I use fresh high quality bread and butter and toast it to give it a warming bite.  When it picks up the oil, vinegar, juices running from the vegetables it takes on a style all it’s own.

On another note, Z plated everything but the tomatoes (he took one I think) and filled up on chicken and strawberries.  As for me?   Loved every bite.

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