Sunday, November 18, 2007

Panzanella nicoise

Ever wonder what to make when you're stuck with an extra loaf of Italian or french bread? I always buy more than I need when I have people over, so I try to use it up in a day or two with this salad. Panzanella is originally an Italian peasant dish. The peasants would take their bread and dip it in the jus from the leftover meat they were given once the rich families were finished eating. Thus, allowing to further extend the meat. Then they would throw in whatever they had on hand which may include onions, cheese and olives.

I have called my version nicoise because I use a variety of olives, green and black. It comes together easily and the prep time is chopping time and toasting the bread in the oven. It is a very refreshing and filling salad. You probably have all the ingredients at home in your pantry, so get cookin'! Even if you don't have all the ingredients, it's ok... use what you got and don't worry about the rest.

Serves 6
Prep time: 15-20 min
Bake time: 20 min

The VIP's:
  • loaf of french or italian bread cut into cubes and place in a single layer on cookie sheet to toast at 350 deg for 20min, let cool
  • red onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes or a pint of grape tomatoes, washed & chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 avocados chopped
  • handful of grated pecherino romano or parmigiano reggiano
  • handful of olives, roughly chopped
  • handful of capers
  • italian dressing, to taste or make your own*
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste

The Play:

combine everything except bread. Add bread 10 min before serving.

Notes: *Make your own Italian dressing by combining: olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, one clove of smashed garlic, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sugar.

3 comments:

Michael said...

Yum dude! Here's a kind of a winter panzanella I just did with some braising greens.

bee said...

i'm a bread addict and i love love love this salad. the bread just mops up all the flavours and juices and it makes a complete meal.

Alpa said...

Michael - Welcome! Thanks for visiting. I love your recipe - so simple and few ingredients! I will try it with kale and get back to you.

Bee - Thanks! Yes, so few pantry staples which turn into a delectable dish when paired properly. And you don't need soup!