Friday, July 17, 2009


    What to do with stale bread? Bread crumbs. Croutons. Wait for it ... Bread Salad! This is my first bread salad and I am delighted with it. It was a lovely day, Angie came over and the bread salad with a side of sauteed beet greens and bellini cocktails made a perfectly light girl's lunch.
    Bread salad, in Italian called panzanella, is a Northern Italian dish, something that I didn't grown up eating probably because down south my ancestors finished their bread like good hearty Sicilians. According to a really interesting website called Food Timeline, "The concept [of panzanella] is ancient, the practice is contemporary ... Why? Tomatoes are a new world food." Riveting.
    Angie was wondering whether it would hold up to eat the next day or get too soggy. I honestly ate it for about 5 days after and it held up really well.

Bread Salad
2-3 cups of cubed day old Italian Bread or Baguette (1 loaf of Italian bread or 1/2 long baguette)
1/2 tsp lime zest
extra virgin olive oil, enough to generous coat the bread
red wine balsamic vinegar to taste
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 onion chopped (red onion is probably best)
salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 cucumber, chopped
2-3 vine or plum tomatoes, chopped
handful of basil leaves, torn
few sprigs of fresh oregano

Combine everything but the basil and oregano and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then add the oregano and basil and serve. Other ingredients you can add: capers, peppers, olives, goat cheese, grated cheese ... have fun!

Sauteed Beet Greens
A bunch of beet greens
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 onion sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic sliced
dash of peperoncino
1/4 C. toasted pine nuts

     Dry toast the pine nuts in a pan and set aside. Wash the beet greens thoroughly! They are very sandy and gritty, so rinse them and soak them in water to let the grit fall to the bottom. Repeat at least three times. Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil. Add peperoncino. Add the beet greens and sautee a few minutes then cover and steam until tender. Add the pine nuts.


Jenny said...

having a northern italian mom & nonna, this was a HUGE staple in our house. i can remember my nonna making it during the summers spent in italy and watching her methodically putting all the parts together. happy to hear how much you enjoyed it! xoxo

Morta Di Fame said...

Oh summers as a child in Italy. Those are memories, Jenny!

Rocco Galatioto said...

Fantastic idea. I will have to try this as I generate a lot of "day before" bread.