The end of summer is so bittersweet. The beautiful warmth and sunshine may be fading away but the excitement of a new school year and crisp leaves awaits. It also marks one year until Fictional Kitchen has a Mr. and Mrs. A lot of work still to do on that front…
In sweeping up the last of the summer, I offer to you a simple panzanella. I think that there is no wrong way to make a panzanella, though I’m sure I will be harshly reprimanded. It is intended as a use for leftovers, for stale bread and overly abundant tomatoes and whatever else is in the fridge.
I like to start with tomatoes, bread, vinegar, and olive oil. Then you could add salty things like capers, caper berries, goat cheese, feta cheese. Savory like bacon, chicken cubes, chickpeas. Aromatics like basil, onions (red or white), mint, oregano. You could even throw other vegetables like eggplants or zucchini in.
It is really best if allowed to sit and soak up the juices. This also means that tomorrow it will be equally delicious, it for some reason you have leftovers. I mostly find myself picking at the bowl while I’m slicing and dicing. Then picking at it for the rest of the night until it is all gone. The most important factor is time.
I’m sure we could all use a little more time and a few more tomatoes in our lives.
5 stale rolls or 1/2 crusty loaf
3 large tomatoes
1/2 red onion, sliced or diced
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
3 tbsp capers
fresh basil, torn
Slice rolls in half or slice loaf. Brush with olive oil. Grill 5-10 minutes until golden.
In the mean time, cut tomatoes into 1″ cubes. Place in a large bowl. Add onions, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Once bread is golden, remove from heat and cut into 1″ cubes. Add to bowl. Add capers. Toss to combine. Scatter basil over bowl and set aside to rest at least 30 minutes. 1 hour would be better.
Serve with prosciutto or cheese board.