Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday Supper

For Rosh Hashana I made a big Panzanella, I used a diverse selection of heirloom tomatoes, large and small of as many different colors as I could find, including wonderful yellow pear shaped cherry tomatoes which, for the most part, I kept whole.

This was so successful I had to make it again, as my window of opportunity is brief, and after a terrible growing season where many farmers in the North East lost their tomato crops to blight tomatoes are now at the market (and in my CSA delivery) in great abundance.

Wikepedia describes Panzanella as a "bread salad" in my version it's a Tomato salad with croutons. Like most recipes I post this recipe is nothing more than a suggestions, it's what I have made and thought worked well, I always encourage you to try, taste and adjust to your own liking.

4 cups heirloom tomatoes, chopped into large bite size pieces including lots of cherry tomatoes, maybe chopping the bigger ones in half (or not).

Mix in 2/3 cup good olive oil, 2 T red wine vinegar and about 1 cup basil leaves, torn, whole or chiffonade (if the leaves are small I like them whole).

1 baguette (traditionally Wikipedia tells me it is to be wood oven unsalted Tuscan bread, but just in case you don't happen to leave near a Tuscan wood oven bread maker any bread will do). The idea is that it's stale, I go one step further with it and make them into croutons.

Slice what ever bread you are using into bite size croutons you want a generous two cups of bread, toll it with 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil and 2-4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, toss them all up together and the spread them out onto a cookie sheet and bake in an oven at 350F until they are golden brown.

Toss as many into the salad as you like. I especially like the crunchy caramelized garlic bits.

Season with sea salt (I use Maldon) and freshly grated black pepper.

A meal in itself. Oh and it's best if you make this with fresh tomatoes that have never been refrigerated.

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