Post-weekend Panzanella

Happy President’s Day!  I baked you a chocolate cake in the shape of Barack Obama.

I’m kidding—but a little disappointed in myself for not doing that…

It was a very food-filled weekend so I felt the need to regroup and get some fresh veggies in my belly.  Of course, I need some bread cubes, too.

I adapted this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  I just looked it up online but there was a point in my life (freshman year of college when I hated school) when I religiously watched her.  I hardly made her recipes because I was mesmerized with her episodes for other reasons.  It wasn’t necessarily a good mesmerized.  I always laughed at how lavish her meals were and her tone of voice for us “commoners” was completely hysterical.  I’m sorry I don’t have a Jeffrey who goes to the store to get 10 bouquets of flowers for breakfast in the home library.  Meanwhile, Ina is saying “how bad can that be?” about her cake with 12 eggs and 6 sticks of butter.  Oh, Ina.  You are so special.  After that year of college, I didn’t watch her anymore, but I have not forgotten about that soft spoken, posh, barefooted woman.

If you are looking for a flavorful and fresh salad, this is great!  It doesn’t take long to make.  The veggie chopping is the longest part.

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Post-weekend Panzanella

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 small-medium sized loaf of bread, cut in 1 inch cubes(I prefer sourdough but you can use French, too)

2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 cucumber, cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1 inch cubes

1/4 red onion, chopped and thinly sliced

15 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Vinaigrette:

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

Heat a little oil in a pan and sauté your bread cubes on low for about 10 minutes.  You will have to toss frequently so they brown evenly.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and basil.  Add the bread cubes and toss with the dressing.  Mix well.  Let sit for 20 minutes so the flavors soak through the bread fully.

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With love,

Anne

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