Friday, July 26, 2013

Rosie Makes Panzanella.

 I've been waiting all year long for decent tomatoes -
homegrown, vine-ripened, and sun-kissed.
Finally, tomato season is here!

I'm celebrating my summer tomato crop
with a light and refreshing panzanella,
a classic Tuscan tomato salad
which combines juicy, rustically ripe
summer tomatoes with a sharp vinaigrette,
savory croutons to soak up all that wonderful juice,
and loads of fresh, fragrant basil.
It's Summer-On-A-Plate!


For the croutons:
1 loaf French bread, torn into 1-inch cubes
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 300°.  Place a baking sheet in the oven with two tablespoons butter on it and let the butter melt as the oven heats.  Remove pan from the oven, add the olive oil, then quickly toss the bread crumbs in the pan to coat with the oil and butter.  Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.  Bake until croutons are light brown and crunchy, about 25 minutes.

While the croutons are baking, make the vinaigrette and prep the vegetables.

For the vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine first 5 ingredients, then gradually whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion.  Season to taste.

For the salad:
3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes.
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 bell peppers, cut into ½-inch cubes
I always use a combination of colors - green, yellow, orange, and red peppers.  I like the pretty.
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn

Combine salad ingredients.  Pour vinaigrette over top and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let mixture sit at least 30 minutes.  The longer it sits, the juicier it gets.  Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.  Add in the croutons, toss, and enjoy summer at its finest.

I'm starting on the croutons first.
Place the butter on a baking pan,
stick in the oven,
and heat to 300°.
Let the butter melt.
While the butter is melting, 
take a loaf of French bread and ...

  ... tear it into pieces.

 When the butter has melted,
add the olive oil to the pan
and pour in the bread cubes.
Toss to coat.

 Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bake in a 300° oven for about 25 minutes.

While the croutons are baking,
start on the vinaigrette.

Dijon mustard
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

I'm making my own red wine vinegar.
I used 1 TB of Merlot
and 1 TB of rice vinegar.

 Mince the shallot and garlic.
Mix all ingredients.

On to the meat of the dish - the vegetables.
 I have tomatoes, green, yellow, orange, yellow, and red peppers,
red onion, cucumber, and basil.
 I always peel and seed my tomatoes.
Lightly juice them.
Give the peppers a dice.

 Dice the cucumber.

 Add in the chopped red onion.

  Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.

  Add in the torn basil leaves.

 Whisk the vinaigrette ...

 ...  before pouring over the vegetables.

 Toss to coat.

 Serve with croutons.


Marilyn said...

I love panzanella!1

Rocquie said...

Rosie, your Panzanella looks beautiful and delicious. So colorful. I was at the Farmers Market just this morning, buying tomatoes and other things to make Panzanella. I have some left over croissants I thought I would use for it. Rocquie

Rosie Hawthorne said...

We all loved this panzanella. So fresh!

Tammy said...

Looks delicious, Rosie! ...And your pictures are so clear and beautiful.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Tammy. This did not last very long. You should try it.