Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Cooking: Farmer's Market Panzanella & Breakdown Mojito

Oh, how I love the Farmer's Market! Saturday's trip inspired tonight's dinner, a classic Panzanella (bread salad) with a special, secret ingredient.

Every good panzanella starts out with bread, in this case, a sweet baguette cut into small pieces and toasted for 10 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

Our star ingredient: heirloom tomatoes. Look at that sheen, that color, that shape.

Three heirloom tomatoes, all chopped up, equals a sunset-colored feast for the eyes and stomach.

And our secret ingredient? Watermelon! Okay, not so secret, but if you haven't combined tomatoes with watermelon, you are seriously missing out.

Next you head out to your miniscule herb garden to gather some fresh basil.

Get it done.

Throw in some half moon cucumbers, again from the market.

Red onion. But really? It's totally purple. Anyone else confused by that?

Oh, and if you had a day like I did, here's the extra special addition: summer lovin' mojito!

The finished product: red, orange, yellow, green, pink and violet. Every color of the rainbow but blue (unless you count the bowl). This is what summer is all about!

Eating the panzanella, drinking your mojito outside: pure Summertime enjoyment.

Farmer's Market Panzanella
4 servings

8 ounces bread, any kind of your liking, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1 cup watermelon, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces (leave in fridge until ready to serve)
1 cup cucumber
8-10 small basil leaves, julienned
1/2 cup red (purple) onion, sliced very thin vertically
3 ounces feta cheese
salt & pepper
white balsamic vinegar
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Place bread cubes on baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Set aside and let cool.

Place tomatoes, cucumber and chilled watermelon in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit about five minutes. Toss in onion and basil. Add bread cubes and splatter with oil and vinegar, to your taste. Add salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with feta. Enjoy!

Breakdown Mojito
(adapted, barely, from Sunset)
1 serving

Place 20 mint leaves and 2 teaspoons superfine sugar in a glass. Use wooden spoon or muddler to coarsely crush leaves.

Add 4 TBS light rum and a 1-2 TBS of dark/golden rum to glass. Stir in 3 TBS freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix. Add ice cubes to glass.

Top with 4-6 TBS diet 7up (or club soda).

1 comment:

mel @ the larson lingo said...

That panzanella looks AMAZING. I have never tried a tomato/watermelon combo. I am intrigued & must try it! I LOVE heirloom tomatoes. And the mojito? Yes, please! Sorry you had a rough day...