When Life Gets You Down, Try Some Panzanella.
September 30, 2010
Moving on. I've been making this here panzanella salad quite a bit over the last month or so and recently it even got my mind off my troubles. A salad! That cures seemingly-unsolvable family dynamic craziness! Imagine that. Maybe that is a tad hyperbole, true, but there is something very zen-like (to me, anyway) about taking some very humble vegetables (most of which came from our garden!), quietly and calmly cubing them in perfect-ish cubes, also cubing some bread that would otherwise not be used, whisking up the simplest of vinaigrettes and then tossing the whole thing together with my hands. Yesssss. And then, sitting down and eating straight from my favorite serving bowl (a gift from my MIL!). And feeling no guilt about eating the whole thing (or close to it) because it's a salad and the calories don't count! Please don't tell me there are probably 497 carbs (because there is a whole loaf of bread int here after all) and a million grams of fat (because I am very, very generous with the olive oil) because I sorta already know it's true. Just work with me here.
la cucina povera.
4-5 good size ripe tomatoes (heirloom is always best!), cubed
1 cucumber, cubed
1/2 medium red onion, sliced and soaked in water for 10 minutes
1 lb. peasant loaf (day old), cubed and toasted in the oven
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (use your best stuff here....it really shines!)
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 cloves garlic smashed into a paste with salt
1 big handful basil leaves, torn
Toss the first four ingredients in your favorite serving bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. It should be very strong and flavorful. Add vinaigrette to salad along with the basil and toss gently with your hands. Feel your worries wash away. Ahhhhhhhh. Better already.