Wednesday, September 14, 2011


And to think, until a couple years ago, I'd never even heard of panzanella, also known as bread salad.  Thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, this is now one of my favorite quick summertime meals -- especially once the home-grown tomatoes are flourishing.
Which they are. 
One of the things I love most about this recipe is I usually have all the ingredients on hand.  It takes less than a half hour to throw together. 
And it is delicious.
Did I mention how delicious it is?
In the book Real Simple Celebrations:  Easy Entertaining for Every Occasion, author Valerie Rains suggests that rather than freezing those hot dog and hamburger buns left over from summertime barbecues, you use them in this salad instead.  Brilliant idea.
Here are the instructions based on the recipe from the book:
2 hot dog or hamburger buns, cut into 1-inch pieces
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 - 8 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. thinly sliced basil
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/8 t. black papper
Place cut up buns on baking sheet; bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  In large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cheese, and basil.  Add the oil and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the toasted bread and toss.
So is anyone else swimming in tomatoes?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chocolate Pasta

Have you ever heard of it?  Ever tried it?  Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pasta Salad with Pesto, Feta, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

September?  How can it be September already?  I still haven't gotten myself to the mall to buy a new swimsuit.  I still haven't finished using my five-year-old can of spray tan on my lily white legs.  I still haven't roasted any tomatoes.

Alas, the calendar says it really is September, and even I know better than to contradict my calendar.  There is still enough summer left to make this amazing pasta salad, which I discovered recently via Mary at her blog, What's Cookin' with Mary.

The toasted slivered almonds provide the crunch, the feta cheese gives the squish and creaminess, the sun-dried tomatoes add the surprise of yum.  I believe we have found ourselves a new summer staple here at the castle. 

This would be a great addition to a potluck, by the way.  The only changes I made to Mary's (really, her brother's) recipe is I omitted the onions.  It just tasted so perfect already.

So go pop by Mary's and print out this tasty, tasty dish.  And tell me about anything good that's going on in your kitchen.

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