Saturday, 21 July 2012

2012 Panzanella-Off.

This is happily turning out to be the summer of panzanella for me, tomato bread salad which is one of my favorite favorite things to eat this time of year. Don't even try to make this when tomatoes aren't in season, don't use stinking flown-in tomatoes that taste like mealy mush inside, splurge for the fat heirloom ones all sorts of weird colors and shapes. This summer I've tried four different recipes--a Cook's Illustrated one, a Suzanne Goin one (I worship her because everything I've tried from this cookbook is perfection), another one that was dismal so I threw the recipe out immediately, and this one, which incidentally was the simplest. That one won. Don't you love it when simplicity wins out?

I've been a Chez Pim fan for a long time and none of her recipes have failed me yet. Plus her boyfriend is Chef David Klinch of Manresa, where Steve took me for a spectacular 3-hours-long dinner for my 29th birthday. These people know food.

But! After these last few weeks of panzanella experimenting I think I've come up with a small tweak to Pim's recipe. I like my day-old bread crisped up in the oven before pouring the tomato juices over them. Say, 300 degrees for 10 minutes. There. Now it's perfection, just like that little hand above reaching for its little fork.

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