Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ina's Panzanella

It's Barefoot Blogger Thursday again. Wow, the weeks are really flying by. I fear the end of summer is coming soon. Not that I love the hot weather, but this summer has really been great, not the typical hot and humid. As I wrote in the last post, we are being treated to fall like temps in the 70's. Last night we ate on the patio in front of the burning chimnea. So this year it will be sad to see the summer end.

We have a few great recipes to make this month. As you may know, the
Barefoot Bloggers are a group dedicated to recreating the recipes of Ina Garten twice a month. If you are curious as to what lies ahead or would like to read over the musings of the BB's, check out the site. This week's recipe, Panzanella, was chosen by Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen, from the book, "Barefoot Contessa Parties!", pg 102. As with most of her recipes, this one is a winner! Easy and delicious and full of great vegetables to celebrate the summer bounty of produce. I only made a few changes. I used white wine vinegar (could not find any champagne vinegar), multi grain french bread, Blushing Beauty Peppers from my garden and two types of heirloom tomatoes from the garden (see tomato soup post ). The bread really takes on a great nutty flavor when toasted and stands up well in the salad.

We had a little get together with the neighbors last weekend. There was a local Ribfest going on just around the corner from us. So, we all trekked down and purchased a slab of ribs from each vendor, then retreated back to the hosts home where we had all deposited our contributions to the potluck dinner. There we all sampled each of the ribs from the separate vendors, had some amazing potato salad, local corn on the cob, my panzanella along with a few adult beverages and veggie nibbles. The only snag was Mother Nature. She decided to end our near drought situation half way through dinner. We retreated to the house, plates and glasses in hand just in time for a really soaker of a storm. Inside we continued to chow and chat.

For dessert we had a real treat. Mounded into little cups we had to-die-for rich chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars (always a fave) atop a scoop of my vanilla bean ice cream. Yum! Believe me, when they were handed out, no one hesitated to grab their share. We ate it up so quickly that I never got a picture of the finished product!

So, here is Ina's recipe with my few changes, and a few pics from the Ribfest. I will post the recipe for the ice cream later. I may make another batch so I have final result photos.

Ina's Panzanella
12 servings

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 loaf multi grain French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes(6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher flake salt
1 large Black Krim tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Mr Stripey tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 blush beauty bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 1/2 red onion, cut in
1 small red onion thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher flake salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Mr. Stipey and Black Krim on the cutting board.

A cute little red onion from the farmers' market.

Just before to final toss.

Pictures from the Ribfest, enjoy ....

This Friday will mark my 6 month blogging anniversary and I have a wonderful surprise, so, stay tuned and thanks for reading!


Aggie said...

Your panzanella looks great! Love the veggies you used! Ribfest looks like a lot of fun!

Christine said...

Those ribs are to die for! Great job on the salad and I am glad you are enjoying cool summer nights!

Veronica said...

That sounds like a great meal! I think next time I make the salad I might try multi grain bread-I'll bet that really gave it nice flavor (not that it was great with the regular French bread!)

kittie said...

Wow - sounds like your summer is going much better than ours!!

Lovely dish - I'll have it despite the rain!

Prudy said...

Oh, yum! The salad looks gorgeous but that dessert sounded fabulous too.

kat said...

yum, bring on the ribs! I made a bread salad last week too, I always forget what a great main dish they make.

Maria said...

I love the clump of fresh basil on top! It is my favorite. Looks like you had a lot of fun! I am glad!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I so want ribs now. I'm glad you and the neighbors enjoyed the salad. I should have used multi-grain bread. That would have made it a bit more hearty and fulfilling... then maybe we wouldn't have polished off the whole bowl.
~The Cat's Pajamas

Sarah said...

this salad would go great with ribs! great job!

Melissa said...

This really is perfect for entertaining. Glad you've had such a great summer!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Go Panzanella! Looks great!

Courtney said...

wow i bet that was an awesome smell have the ribfest so close.

funny about the rain, glad you all got inside in time!

Rebecca said...

A Ribfest! You are sooooo lucky.