Sunday, September 21, 2014

Panzanella Redux: A Million Options

In the time since my last post on the bread salad the Italians call "panzanella," I've made at least two different versions of the recipe. As long as the tomatoes are juicy—perfect for those overripe specimens you just couldn't fit on your tomato platter—and the olive oil is plentiful, you're in business.

The raw material.

The two versions? Well, considering I have access to a virtually endless supply of bread because of Dave's homemade sourdough habit, we've had bread salad as both a main dish and a side salad. The first version consisted of the basic recipe combined with about a tin's worth of leftover albacore that I'd had the foresight to bag and freeze. The second was based on a variation of my friend Michel's panzanella (above) that she whipped up for an evening of wine and snacks to celebrate her new job, which eschewed the basil and added capers and chopped castelvetrano olives.

Seriously, that's it. As long as the bread has soaked up enough of the tomato juice and dressing, which takes about an hour, it's ready to eat. Talk about fleeting pleasures of late summer…grab a loaf of your favorite bread and as many ripe tomatoes as you can and get to it!

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