Tuesday, May 02, 2006


There is always stale bread in my house. (Perhaps you've noticed.) My husband, Shane, will buy a loaf of bread after work, eat half of it, and then leave it to harden on the counter.

Until recently, I just chucked it. But this month's Is My Blog Burning? is all about reusing stale bread, so I've been a bit more inspired of late.

Panzanella, an Italian bread salad, is the latest result. In this recipe, the bread is combined with tomatoes, basil, cannellini beans and mozzarella (plus a few other ingredients) for a fresh result.

Each bite speaks of long and lovely summer days -- a perfect reminder of what's to come when the weather just isn't there yet.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 loaf stale* bakery bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 to 8 oz. mozzarella, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and garlic. Toss the dressing with remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate (bread will get progressively wet).

* or fake it by placing the bread cubes in a 250-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes.


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