Thursday, June 15, 2017

Panzanella with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

I think part of my problem with updating my blog is that lately it seems like I don't have as much time to write out nice, long, interesting stories to go with my recipes. Or at least I think I don't have time; the older I get the more I realize that once I determine that I want to make the time to do something, I somehow magically make the time. Funny thing, time; sometimes it flies, sometimes it drags, and sometimes it can actually heal all wounds. Or so they say.

(And sometimes it's made out of circles : Time...LINE ??? 

The story behind this one is short and sweet, so I'll endeavor to keep the entry the same; maybe that will make it easier ? 

As I posted it on Facebook...

PROBLEM : person buying rolls for last weekend's cookout does not understand math, leaving you with about three times as many rolls as you have sausages. 

SOLUTION : Panzanella with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella. 

No problem ! Well, except that I can't seem to stop eating it :)

Panzanella with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozarella 

loosely based on an Ina Garten recipe

Serves about four, depending on if you’re serving anything else with it.

2 T olive oil
4 cups stale bread cubes (leftover rolls, a small French, Italian, or country-type bread..really any decent plain bread will work)  
1/2 t salt
1 container heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2-4 mini cucumbers, unpeeled, halved and sliced (if large quarter and slice)
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T capers, drained
8 oz. fresh mozzarella – whole small balls (like ciliegene) or larger balls cut in slices (ovolini)


1/2 t very finely minced garlic
1/2 t Dijon mustard
3 T white balsamic vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground pepper (white is nice if you have it)


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil if needed. Set aside to cool a bit. 

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with most of the vinaigrette; add mozzarella and drizzle with remaining dressing.  

This particular panzanella can be served right away, or you can allow it to sit in the fridge for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.