Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's hard to believe, but sometimes we let bread go stale in my house. You see, Husband is not a carb-fiend like I am, so sometimes I'm left to finish an entire loaf of rustic Italian something-or-other on my own. Normally, this would not be a problem but I'm trying to practice a little restraint (and not be wasteful).

So what's a girl to do when the bread goes stale? Make panzanella! This recipe is loosely based on
Giada's version in Everyday Italian (I do love Giada). I would have followed it exactly, but I didn't have all of the ingredients so I decided to improvise a little. In fact, now that I am re-reading my scibbbled notes, I barely followed it all. Oh well. The inspiration is authentic, even if the dish is not...

adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

6 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
8-10 oz. Italian loaf (or some other kind of good, crusty bread), 2-3 days old, cubed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 Tbsp. each oil and vinegar

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and whisk until blended. Add bread, tomatoes and sliced basil; toss well to combine. Let bread mixture sit about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. each of oil and vinegar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fresh basil and shaved parmesan, and serve.

Serves 4.

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