Hey It’s Jet Here.
Before we begin, we want to send out our heartfelt hope that all our friends affected by Hurricane/Frankenstorm, Superstorm Sandy are safe. Mom hails from NJ, so, she has a good sense of where the storm came ashore yesterday. When you can, let us know what you need and how we can help in the aftermath.
Many regular readers know that as Mom’s faithful Kitchen K-9s, we sit in rapt (VBP – Vocab Building Project) attention when Mom prepares salads. Grape tomatoes, the red kind or the yellow pear varieties, usually conclude the preparation process because they leave Mom’s cutting board a bit sloppy. We may also favor them because Mom usually tosses one or two to JJ and I whole so the orbs represent our largest tidbits!
Before JJ arrived, Mom grew several varieties of tomatoes including: cherry, grape and Everglades in our backyard garden during the winter, as do many South Florida residents. When harvest time approaches, a roster of yummy tomato laden dishes helps show off the hard work. Here’s Mom’s version of the classic Italian Panzanella Bread salad which flew off her table during her Farmers Market demonstration.
Lori’s Panzanella Bread Salad (Adapted from Regina Cowles and Simply Recipes)
- 1 tb. Italian Herbs
- ¼ c. Olive oil (best quality you can afford!)
- 4 c. slightly dried out rustic bread, cubed or torn in small pieces
- 1 ½ ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ c. red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ c. arugula leaves, torn
- 1 bunch basil, torn in small pieces
- 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
Mix Italian Spices into the olive oil, set aside. Place bread in large salad bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil and arugula and toss gently. Add the vinegar and toss again to blend. Spoon the olive oil mixture over the salad, add the salt, toss again. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the bread to absorb the dressing and the flavors. Toss once again before serving.
- Add some fresh mozzarella or feta,
- Throw in a few garbanzos or leftover roasted chicken, turkey or tuna
- Switch spinach or other lettuce varieties for the arugula.
Another yummy grape tomato day!