Since making My First Panzanella last month, I knew that tomato + bread + stuff was the making of a meal, start to finish, tip to tail, top to toe. And so tonight it was. Supper.
This time I skipped blanching, peeling and seeding the tomatoes. This time I skipped the grill to toast the bread under the broiler. In fifteen minutes flat: a feast. Was something special lost in speed? Yes. No. Yes and no.
It's not that one is better than the other. It's that they're nearly two different salads. Where My First Panzanella is somehow plain and pure, My Quick Panzanella is plain and practical. They're both delicious. They're both keepers.
RECIPE for MY QUICK PANZANELLA
Time to table: 15 minutes
2 stale sourdough rolls (or other stale bread)
2 large tomatoes, cored and diced
1/4 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 fresh mozzarella ball, diced
5 or so fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons capers (these are important, try not to skip)
1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Good salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the bread into small cubes, briefly warming in the microwave to soften, if needed, before cutting. Place on a baking tray under the broiler for about 5 minutes, turning once.
Combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil, garlic and capers. (You could make a little ahead to this point.) Add the bread and combine well, letting the bread soak up the juices. Splash the vinegar and oil over the bowl and stir in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
TOMATOES Tonight I used beautiful yellow and red German tomatoes but plain red tomatoes are equally delicious.
CUCUMBER I didn't use tonight but think it really adds.
FRESH MOZZARELLA I did use this tonight and found it a waste of mozzarella, nothing bad, just nothing special ... who needs the calories and the expense?
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