Thursday, June 22, 2006

Impromptu Panzanella

If the weather were a lot colder, today's lunch would have been more like an ad lib minestrone, but since temperatures are heading into the 90s*, it's an ad lib salad.
In either case, it would be made with ingredients on hand... In fact, not long ago I did make an impromptu minestrone, using some frozen tomato sauce, leftover vegetable stock, almost-shriveled mushrooms, some potatoes, onions and carrots, herbs and a handful of lentils.
Today's hot-weather version of "cream of bottom-of-the-refrigerator" featured chunks of fresh tomatoes, slivers of red onion, some cut-up yellow pattypan squash, half a sliced cucumber, herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Oh, and about four slices of day-old pugliese bread from Artisan Bakers in Sonoma (look for it). I hacked up the bread, leaving the crusts on to soak up the juices in the bowl, and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Looks like I'm not the only one thinking about food in this form now. Oh, there are lots more of us, too; just go look here. And we all do it a little bit differently. Kinda impromptu.
Go make one yourself, any old way you like.

*Because it IS hot, and it's getting hotter. It's our own fault.


kudzu said...

Your post reminds me once again how bereft I was when Artisan closed down the shop in Larkspur. Ah, me....Meanwhile, panzanella. Si! Italians are no fools and they're certainly frugal and we could learn from them. "Pasta Rustica" is another beauty: whatever you have from the garden or in the fridge (as long as you have garlic), chopped into boiling water or broth with some herbs, simmered. Add cooked small pasta of some type. Cheese if you have it (Reggiano, Romano). Done. And it you're r-e-a-l-l-y Italian you eat it at room temp in the summer. I learned this in a farmhouse in Umbria; it was restorative after too much strong homemade wine the night before.

Greg said...

Eating good in the neighborhood! Looks tasty and healthy

Sam said...

I am going to declare 2006, Summer of the Panzanella.
There. I did it.
It must be so...

any old panzanella - any way you want it - all summer long. Yay!

Fred is just CRAZY for it. And I can't say that about eveything

cookiecrumb said...

Yeah, I don't know why Artisan had such a hard time getting a toehold in Larkspur... We got our bread at Whole Food.
Greg: You can do it too. Take a cue from Sam and Fred.
Sam: You're on! I've got a couple of "anyway you want its" up my sleeve. :)

Dagny said...

Mmmmm. Tasty looking food. I love salads of all types. And bread? With said salad? *sigh* I will remember to try some after I give up the liquid diet of turning 40. It's surprising the amount of liquids that people will give you just because it is your birthday and all. And mine's not even until tomorrow.

cookiecrumb said...

Happy Birthday, Dagny!!! Your cool new Kate Spade bag is ultra cute. Congratulations on the job, too.
Dagny is 40. Huh!