Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice Salad

Happy first day of summer everyone! It's a rainy one here today, but the boy and I celebrated the end of spring last night with a fantastic dinner out on the little red deck. After a week full of parties and celebratory dinners (yay Daddy day!), we had a fridge full of leftovers and felt pretty blah. I decided we need to eat better (and smarter!) so I pulled together a lovely little meal- without a trip to the grocery store!

Along with some leftover corn on the cob and a bag of frozen shrimp, I adapted this panzanella off of 2 recipes- one by my fave Ina Garten and the other from the lovely Giada De Laurentis.

"Summer Solstice" Panzanella

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 large loaf french bread other country-style white bread, 2 to 3 days old
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus reserve for grilling
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes {you really should use fresh, but it was a pantry night!
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 hot house cucumber unpeeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, finely diced


Cut french bread into thick slices and grill, drizzling olive oil on both sides of the bread. Once grilled, let cool and cut or tear bread into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of the olive oil, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
Transfer the cubed bread to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish.
Mix the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and basil into the bread. Pour the dressing over top, and combine well. Cover the salad and let stand at room temperature for flavors to blend, at least 1 hour.

I wish I had the forethought to take a picture last night (everything looked so yummy!), but you get the idea :)

The best part about Panzanella- you get to use the stale bread you forgot about from Saturday's party. And there are no real rules! Don't have cucumbers? Really like olives? Throw in whatever fresh veggies you want and see what happens.

I hope your first day of summer is a bit sunnier than mine. Have a great week!

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