Yesterday was a record breaking hot day. 102º in Denver, yikes! Hot or not, I still love to cook. I decided to make a Panzanella Salad. I used my first tomatoes from the garden, with homegrown oregano, basil and parsley. My neighbor Lori had some fantastic arugula that I also added. This salad is the quintessential summer meal!
Panzanella is a tomato and bread salad. A lot of recipes call for day-old bread but I like the flavor and texture of fresh better. Use a crusty bread, like Ciabatta, to make the hearty croutons. Let the tomatoes and croutons sit at room temperature and the tomato juices and dressing soak into the croutons. You end up with a chewy/crunchy texture and flavor that is amazing!
I also added some chicken (you can skip if you want vegetarian) seasoned with An Evening in Tuscany. This is the first blend I tried from Milford Spice and now I am addicted to all of their fantastic products! This is hand blended with garlic, Kosher salt, Mediterranean oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, black pepper, rosemary, onion and parsley. To make a classic bread seasoning dip, mix 2 tablespoons An Evening in Tuscany with 1/2 cup of your favorite olive oil.
Do you know that you are never supposed to refrigerate tomatoes? Doing so changes the texture of the tomato and weakens the flavor. Leave them in a bowl on the counter. Not only will they taste better, they look so pretty and colorful.
A cool glass of Chianti paired perfectly with this meal.
Wine and Spice makes everything nice!