Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I've somehow found myself with another night to myself. The husband and his buddy went to a baseball game, my kids are in bed. Woo hoo! More blog updating! And Spotify listening. A friend of mine had mentioned Alison Krauss in a Facebook status today, and I'd never heard of her. I pulled her up on there and am grooving to her amazing voice!

I was pretty pleased to get three blog posts knocked out the other night, but I still have seven on my list. Yikes! I'd better get to focusing. I tried to use some of my lesser used cookbooks when meal planning recently. One I pulled off the shelf was Ellie Krieger's So Easy. I find Ellie Krieger recipes to be kind of hit or miss. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're just "eh" and still other times if I change them up a bit we really like them.

This recipe was basically for the panzanella, although the official title was "Panzanella With Chicken Sausage." Since it didn't require you actually make your own chicken sausage, I'm just going with panzanella. I had some sausages in the freezer from a grill pack I bought over 4th of July weekend. I was really excited to try panzanella because I'd never had it before, much less made it. Plus I love a good salad in the summer!!

Source: So Easy by Ellie Krieger, Copyright 2009

8 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 small English cucumber, cut into half moons
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small whole-grain baguette or other crusty bread (preferably day-old; about 8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/3 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the bread chunks and basil and toss well so all the bread is well moistened.


I couldn't find a whole grain baguette, so I just got a regular, grocery store bakery baguette. I bought it a few days before I needed it, but somehow it was still soft when I went to use it. I won't discuss how mildly grossed out I was about that. Shouldn't bread get stale when it sits out for a few days? Anyway...I cut the bread up into chunks, then threw all the pieces onto a cookie sheet and toasted them for a bit, just so they weren't super soft and would get all soggy in the salad.

This was one of the Ellie Krieger recipes that I didn't have to modify at all. It was so tasty!! I kept taking bites out of the salad bowl once I'd assembled the salad. The tomatoes (oh this would have been amazing with either fresh, local tomatoes or with heirlooms), cukes, onion, vinegar and basil would soak into the bread a little--not so much that it was soggy, just enough to infuse some flavor into the bread--and it was this amazing bite of summer in my mouth. Yum! Wow that sounds dorky and overly poetic. But it was so good! In the summer I generally have all of the ingredients except the baguette on hand for this. I'm so excited to make it again!

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