Posts Tagged ‘Tomatoes’

30 minute panzanella

I feel like I haven’t cooked anything in ages. We’re T-30 or so days until we move, and dinners have been a weird mashup of items long forgotten in the freezer paired with pantry staples because who wants to cart a freezer full of meat to a new apartment, or, more popular than ever – sandwiches. We had a few slices of sourdough leftover from last week, and I’ve been craving summer ingredients: fresh tomatoes, basil, avocado, etc… We whipped up this simple summer panzanella in less than 30 minutes, and it was exactly what I was after – fresh and delicious, tasted like summer. The bread still has a slight crunch and chew to it, the tomatoes are their perfect summertime selves, and the avocado is a no-brainer addition.

Let’s be true to my kitchen style – I’ve never made panzanella before because it’s….a….bread (carbs, devil!!)….salad, but found an easy recipe from Food 52 and slightly read the ingredients and instructions before attempting this myself. I think I added perhaps a bit too much balsamic (as noted with eyebrows raised by Main Squeeze when I was liberally dousing the tomato mixture with it), so I’ve adjusted the recipe to taste. BTW, it was still super delicious.

Panzanella

Simple Summer Panzanella

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups 1-inch cubes of bread (great way to use up older bread)
  • tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt or garlic salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • pounds tomatoes (any kind or flavor you prefer in the summer)
  • shallot, peeled and minced
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar (you can also use any flavor you prefer, and might want to use white balsamic if you want your salad to be extra pretty)
  • 4 to 5 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into smallish bits
  • 1/2 cup basil, chiffonade or chopped
  • Avocado, diced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or coat with cooking spray.  Toss bread cubes with 3 tablespoons olive oil until evenly coated and arrange on the pan. Season lightly with garlic salt and pepper. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking, until crisp and browned. Congratulations, you’ve just made croutons. Remove from oven and toss into large prep bowl.

Croutons

Chop your tomatoes and combine with minced shallot, balsamic, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and mozzarella together in bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to get extra juicy. Pour mixture over bread and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes (you can put it in the fridge) to allow bread to soak up the juices. Stir halfway through. Add diced avocado at the end and stir to mix.

Tomatoes for Panzanella

Top with salt or garlic salt and pepper and serve.

Bread Salad

Simple Panzanella

Panzanella

Enjoy!!!

 

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Candied Balsamic Tomato & Sweet Corn SaladCandied Balsamic Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad.

 

Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

 

Candied Balsamic Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

4 cups grape tomatoes (approx 1 Trader Joe’s container)
1 cup corn (fresh cut off the cob is best)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves, torn
Cooking spray

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray.  Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes release juices.  Combine sugar, salt and pepper; sprinkle over tomatoes; cook 2 more minutes.  Drizzle with vinegar and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Transfer tomato mixture to a serving bowl.  Add corn, onion and basil and toss gently. Can be served immediately warm or chilled. I added the corn in the serving bowl, but you could also add the corn earlier in the pan. The recipe makes approximately 3-4 servings.
Candied Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
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Candied Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

My love affair with sweet corn and backyard photo shoots continues. I came across the idea for this recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny. At the time, I was searching for something I could bring to a party, and although I ended up going with the super yummy Funfetti Cake Dip, the Candied Balsamic Tomato & Mozzarella Salad was never too far from my mind. Grape tomatoes already taste like candy to me, so I was intrigued by the idea of sprinkling them with sugar and balsamic vinegar.

After a trip to Trader Joe’s for an engagement party present (aside: after blanking on the fact that I should probably get a gift for said engagement party, I thought buying a bunch of different sparkling wines and including in the card “hope the memories of your engagement sparkle” would be a great idea. I ended up finding this super cute picnic basket at Crate & Barrel, and it really came together perfectly. Trader Joe’s obviously played a vital part for their large selection of cheap champagne!), I also ended up with my favorite mini pearl grape tomatoes. I love those little guys, and you can often find me actually dining on them…at my desk! I took a handful with me to work today, but left the rest for this original recipe. Yes kids, this is truly the first (semi) original recipe on Dining at My Desk. Or, at least one with its own back yard photo shoot.

I can already tell you that I’m not super great with measuring, cooking times, recipe-writing, etc… and sort of cook by feel and taste, so please feel free to add a little more of this or that if you want to recreate this one yourself. I didn’t have any fresh mozz in the fridge, but I DID have corn, and I figured that combination sounded sounded pretty tasty to me. It turned out really great, and I’m actually on track to eat the whole bowl myself while I write this post!

Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

 

Candied Balsamic Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

4 cups grape tomatoes (approx 1 Trader Joe’s container)
1 cup corn (fresh cut off the cob is best)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves, torn
Cooking spray

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray.  Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes release juices.  Combine sugar, salt and pepper; sprinkle over tomatoes; cook 2 more minutes.  Drizzle with vinegar and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Transfer tomato mixture to a serving bowl.  Add corn, onion and basil and toss gently. Can be served immediately warm or chilled. I added the corn in the serving bowl, but you could also add the corn earlier in the pan. The recipe makes approximately 3-4 servings.

Candied Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
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