Have you noticed that everything seems different? Does it feel like fall where you are?
I woke up Sunday morning and it just felt different. I mentioned to Chris that it feels like fall and he agreed. I don’t know if it’s this cold front that started moving in or if we reached a turning point. It feels like there is a chill and a crispness in the air. Even the sunlight is different and there are leaves falling in my yard.
But I still have tomatoes! And more are on the way! I don’t think I’m going to give up on summer until October. It’s official. Queen Rachelle has declared summer is extended. Who cares if school started and football kicked off last weekend? I am putting my foot down and stopping this gateway to winter and all things dark and cold and snowy and gloomy. Well, except for Christmas where everything is happy and sparkly and shiny. And I’m not really stopping it – it’s more of a denial and delay, but I’ll take it.
Because I’m lucky enough to live in the south where summer lasts almost until winter.
- 15 - 20 tomatoes of combined variety, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1/2 of a day old baguette, sliced and torn into bite size pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 12 or so basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus 2-3 tablespoons more for finishing
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2-3 tablespoons more for finishing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the onion slices in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 10-15 minutes
- Add tomatoes, garlic, bread, onions, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Use hands to toss and combine.
- Set aside for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally
- Add the herbs 15-20 minutes before serving
- Taste and adjust seasonings, finish with remaining red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper
- This salad is best on the same day it's made
Note: The bread should be hard and dry. If it isn’t, you can dry it out in the oven on a baking sheet at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. You do not want it to be toasted or brown.
Note: This is more of a guideline for panzanella, rather than a recipe. You can use some or all of the herbs or add different ones. The longer the salad sits, the more liquid gets absorbed into the bread, so you will want to taste it and adjust the dressing and seasonings prior to serving. Also, keep kind of a rule of thumb that the bread should be 1/3 ratio to the rest of the salad. Feel free to use up any fruits and vegetables in your fridge, such as cucumbers and bell peppers.