The last time that I had panzanella it was in the winter for my birthday and it was a far cry from most recipes.  The bread tasted beautifully of olive oil and the flavors were wonderful.  This time, though, was a different story.  Yes, it was pretty good, but there were way too many onions, far too many, and it overwhelmed the other flavors.  The other problem was in how I decided to toast the bread but then soaked it a bit too long, which resulted in bread that was more moist than I would have hoped.

It was all for the better of course, because I now know what changes should be made to my starting recipe!  First I think that I would decrease the onions to very little, soak the bread none at all, but let the salad sit a while, toast the bread with most of the olive oil for an ample amount of time, toast lots of garlic with the bread and mince the toasted garlic to put in the salad, and that’s about it.

Now you may wonder why my posts have been so few and far between this October.  Well, it mainly has to do with how I have had homework and, well, today,  PSATs.  All I can say is, at least they don’t count for much this time.  Though I’m pretty sure I did well on the critical reading and writing sections, I ran out of time for a few of the math questions just because I had figured there was more time.  Oh well!  I still have lots to cook for Daring Bakers this weekend and good things to take my mind off of all of these tests.  In fact, my dad is running a marathon on Sunday, which will be very exciting.

Oh.  And I also have an essay for English…So much for taking my mind off of school.  Here is the recipe for panzanella, updated considerably:

5 cups torn French Baguette, preferably day or so old
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 pound diced fresh mozzerella
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toast bread with 2 tablespoon olive oil and crushed garlic cloves on 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turning over occasionally.  Place the chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, cheese, basil, and onion in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Remove the bread from the oven and let cool.  Remove the garlic and mince.  Add to the vegetable mixture. Add 1/4 cup of water to the bread and toss. Add the bread to the vegetables and mix thoroughly.  Let sit, covered, in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

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About Madeleine C.

Hi I'm Madeleine and I am an avid cook and baker! Between school, homework swimming, and everything else in my life, I really enjoy cooking! I am 15 (now 16) years old, and have two brothers, both of whom have celiac disease along with my father. For this reason, I often make gluten-free things that will satisfy them as well as those who can readily consume gluten. I enjoy making the complex and the simple, and enjoy a challenge while cooking. That's just about it!