Thursday, 14 August 2008

BB - Panzanella Salad and a Bonus

This week in Barefoot Blogging, Panzanella salad from Barefoot Contessa Parties! page 102, was chosen by Melissa of It’s Melissa’s Kitchen.

What can I say about this salad? It came together fairly straightforwardly. I made the French bread the night before and left it out to get a little stale and then cut it into nice big bite sized pieces for sauteing. I used more tomatoes as mine are rather small but otherwise I followed the recipe to a "t".

The verdict? Hubby LOVED it. I know a recipe is a winner when he starts thinking of people we should make it for. The flavours are light and summery and who doesn't love French bread in, well, anything? We ate most of it in one sitting (yeah, I know the recipe says it serves 12 - maybe as a polite side dish) and had the rest for breakfast the next day. I was afraid it would be too soggy but it wasn't. I would make this again and again.

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced
1/2-inch thick 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and 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 Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher 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.

The Bonus

For July's bonus recipe Becke of Columbus Foodie chose Ina’s Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry and Grande Marnier Sauce found in Barefoot in Paris, page 189.

I had searched high and low (unsuccessfully) for a coeur a la creme mould to make this dessert - I know, I could have used a sieve, but I wanted one. When it finally came down to make it I had resigned myself to the sieve and put my cream cheese out to warm up. When I went to make my coeur, I realized that I had used up most of my cream making the Filbert Gateau. Back into the fridge went the cream cheese and I posted the Herb Baked Eggs instead. (That being the only recipe that I had missed)

What did I find at the St. Lawrence Market the next week? You got it. And it was only $9. Canadian!

I made the recipe just as it was in the book but used mixed berries as I had a lot of them. Let me just say - Oh My Goodness. This is what angels eat in heaven, I am sure. It was like a light, airy cheesecake that never saw the inside of an oven.

I have my heart shaped mould, I have had the dessert, I can die happy.