What's cookin?

     Holy cow people it's only the beginning of June and already the temperature has hit 100 degrees 'round here! What is going on I ask you? What in the world do you cook when it's already so hot that you don't feel like eating anything other than ice cream?  Panzanella!  Panzanella is a delicious Italian bread salad that is quite honestly, addictive.  It has the perfect blend of ingredients that go perfectly with a hot summer day.  The original recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten, but as usual, I changed it up a bit. The original recipe called for red and yellow pepper, cucumber, and capers, but I decided to go with only tomatoes, icksnay the other veggies and capers. The result is too delish for words!  You must make this!  It will not disappoint.

                   3 T Olive oil
                   1 french baguette cut up into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups)
                   1 tsp kosher salt
                   8-10 Roma tomatoes or whatever tomato looks the best 
                   1/2 of a red onion very thinly sliced
                   20 large basil leaves chiffonade
Grab your tomatoes...

And your baguette...

                    1 tsp minced garlic
                    1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
                    3 T champagne vinegar
                    1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
                    1/2 tsp kosher salt
                    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

                   -Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place cubed bread on cookie sheet and bake until slightly toasted

        Heat oil in a saute pan...

Place oven cooked cubed bread in pan, add kosher salt
 cook for 10 min on medium low heat until it looks...gorgeous

                    -Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.  Use less or more oil as desired.
                    -Cut up the tomatoes into 1 inch pieces
                    -Slice the red onion very thin
                    -Add chiffonade basil
                    -Mix the toasted bread cubes into the tomato mixture
                    -pour the vinaigrette over the top and mix thoroughly
                    -salt and pepper to taste

Chop the tomatoes, chiffonade the basil...what is chiffonade you ask?  Well it's a fancy schmancy word for chopping basil all rolled up like a cigar!  Stack the basil like this...

Roll it up and chop like this...

And you end up with this

Mix it all together, salt and pepper to taste and voila...Panzanella!!  This is best served in about 30 minutes to let all the flava get even more delish, but trust me, you will not be able to wait that long!  


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