Monday, March 18, 2013


While I love to create my own recipes, I do watch a LOT of cooking shows for inspiration. I have a notebook full of famous-people-food that I love. Alton, Giada, Sandra Lee, Nadia, and Rachel Ray are some of my favorites. But the other day, I watched Kelsey Nixon make the most amazing sounding Smoky Panzanella with Market Vegetables. I couldn't wait - I went to the store that day to gather the ingredients. 

If you're not familiar with panzanella, it is an Italian bread and tomato salad traditionally made with day-old bread that soaks up this delicious homemade dressing. Kelsey adds cheese and a few other veggies to really take this one over the top. It's such a simple dish but the flavors come together so well and the bread soaks up the dressing and the basil screams summer and, well, I could go on and on about this. It's such an easy and perfect side dish, and it will only get better as summer heats up and tomatoes hit their peak. You should make it. Today. Now. You won't be sorry, I promise.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

What I use:
  • 1 loaf French bread (mine was 10 oz.)
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz. mozzarella (I used smoked mozzarella like Kelsey did, but we didn't like it at all so I will use regular mozzarella next time)
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic in oil
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves

How I do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.

3. Place the bread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cubes are mostly dry and slightly toasted.

4. While the bread cubes are in the oven, prep your other ingredients. Cut the sugar snap peas in thirds and cut the mozzarella into dice-sized cubes. (I only made half at a time, so don't be alarmed at my smaller-looking amount of ingredients.)

5. In a small bottle or mason jar, place the vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, and pinch of salt.

6. Shake until well combined. Do yourself a favor and don't taste this right now. The way it tastes at this moment will make you want to dump it down the drain, but something magical happens when you pour it over the salad and the bread soaks it up and suddenly you can't imagine ever eating another dressing.

7. When the bread is done, place it in a large bowl with the sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

8. Pour the dressing over everything and toss to combine. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes so the dressing flavors can really come together and the bread can soak it all up.

9. Toss again and sprinkle the basil on top right before serving.

The family says:

  • K liked it a lot but picked around the tomatoes because he doesn't care for them. I know he doesn't like them but every now and then I offer them to him to see if his taste buds have changed. (He hated mashed potatoes and pudding for 6 years and now he loves them.)
  • Andrew said it was absolutely amazing but he could have lived without the snap peas. He gave it a 12 out of 10.
  • I love, love, love this! I could eat it every day. It was so good I made it twice in 3 days. When my family gets together, we do everything potluck-style. I think this is going to be my new go-to dish instead of pasta or potato salad.
  • Mom said it was very good. "A great combination of flavors; crisp and hearty."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to know what you think about what you've read here today. Lucky for us, someone left this box here for just that purpose...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...