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Friday, July 23, 2010

TBL Panzanella

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger lately.  Good Eats: The Early Years was my cookbook of the month for June, and I only ever got one recipe posted in it,w ell, technically two, since the macerated strawberries and the shortcakes were from two different episodes.  But, in my defense, school ended in June and things were crazy then I took off to the lake for two weeks in the end of June and July.  I didn't bring the cookbook with me and the lake has no internet access, so no new recipes for me to blog.  Anyway, this cookbook will travel on into July as the cookbook of the month and I hope to get at least one more recipe out of it before we leave for a week in Chicago.  

We made this as part of our anniversary meal.  Our "real" anniversary meal will be in August, when we have reservations at Table 21 at VOLT.  We called back in October and mid-August was the earliest we could get.  So that will be our anniversary treat, but on the date of our actual second anniversary we decided to open a nice bottle of wine (Fabbioli Cabernet Franc Reserve -- local people should check them out, they are great!), cook up some steaks and spend a nice night at home.  This was the salad we made, and it was delicious.  The bread cubes with bacon drippings - mmmmmm.  We had some great grape tomatoes from our CSA and we picked up a great yellow heirloom tomato at a nearby farm stand.  If you are a bacon lover (as I am) definitely try this salad!

TBL Panzanella

Good Eats: The Early Years, and available on
4-6 servings

4 cups French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
2 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
2 cups chopped lettuce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chiffonade basil


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread bread cubes on a sheet pan.  Toast in oven until dry, but not browned, around 10 minutes.  
  • Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towels and reserve drippings.  
  • In large bowl, toss bread cubes in half of the bacon drippings.  Set aside.
  • Sear the halved grape tomatoes in other half of bacon drippings, cut side down, until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  • Combine red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, slowly whisk in olive oil in a thin stream until emulsified.
  • Combine all tomatoes, bread, bacon, and lettuce and dress with vinaigrette, toss well, garnish with basil and serve.

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