Italian Recipes: Panzanella

Today’s lunch was panzanella, another good thing to eat while tomatoes are in season. I more or less follow the recipe from The New Basics Cookbook, except that I didn’t have any of the herbs. Basically, you make home-made croutons by frying chunks of dry, old bread.

…which is a great way to use up dry, old bread, BTW. We always end up with a lot, partly because we overbuy and undereat, and Italian fresh bread goes stale very quickly, sometimes within the day. Whatever I can’t use up making croutons, or bread cake (recipe another day), or crumbs, goes to the horses – horses love dry bread.

Where was I? Bread: chop into 1-inch cubes (roughly), sauté in butter and olive oil with minced garlic, fresh herbs if you have them. Pepper. Remove from pan into a large bowl, toss with fresh-ground cheese. The recipe says parmigiano, my grater currently contains odds and ends of sharp aged cheeses, I don’t even know what all.

Then chop ripe tomatoes, thinly slice red onions, toss with oil, red vinegar, salt, and pepper. When ready to eat, add the croutons.

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