Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quick Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Too hot to cook?  I've got a solution for you.  Panzanella!  It's an Italian bread salad that is bursting with flavor.  Plus, its simple to put together.  Let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours and you're good to go!

Purdum's, Western Idaho's favorite vegetable stand, is finally open.  I picked up some pickling cukes there and used them in the salad.  Yum!  So happy the veggie stands are finally starting to pop up again.  So head to your local farmers market or veggie stand and get started!

Quick Panzanella
1/3 of a sourdough baguette, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lg tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, slivered
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (reduced to a syrup, then measured)
salt and pepper to taste

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss well, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Stir well again and serve.

Have you seen 'Extra Virgin' on the cooking channel?  I love it!  Actress Debi Mazar cooks with her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos.  The two are hilarious!  She has the New York accent and he has an Italian accent.  Highly entertaining and the food looks wonderful.  They made Panzanella a bit differently by rinsing the bread in water and squeezing it out, adding onions, etc.  They also never use sourdough bread, but I like the flavor it brings to the salad.  Plus, its what I had in the house.  There you go!

Summer is in full swing and many people are camping.  A coworker brought a little creature back from the fire pit of the campground.  Someone obviously was extremely bored in the woods.  Check this out...

What is it?  A potato mouse?  Who knows.  Just watch out when you're in the woods.  There are some very strange individuals out there!

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