Sunday, October 04, 2009

Grilled-Bread Salad

I need to use up some extra bread! For whatever reason, we have two lovely loaves of starting-to-go-stale whole-grain sourdough.

I made French Toast last night for supper and it was exceptional. But I've blogged about French Toast before. And if my middle Sprout was home, we'd make her wonderfully buttery garlic-toasted croutons. But that's her recipe so I'm left to other means.

I also have a few sad end-of-summer zucchini and tomatoes languishing away in the produce crisper that need to be used and appreciated, and several jars of half-used miscellaneous in the door of the fridge. Time to get creative.

Here you have the results of my using leftovers - sometimes a dangerous thing, as I hate to waste ANYTHING! But today's efforts turned out pretty tasty, and with a side of pasta, was a perfect supper to go with our unexpected bit of sunshine!! Use whatever ingredients you have on hand, I think wild substitutions here are not a problem!

Marinated Vegetables and Grilled Bread Salad
(I didn't make this idea up!! Bread Salad, or Panzanella, is a rustic, Italian peasant salad designed to use day-old bread, I swear it is!)

4 - 6 slices whole-grain sourdough bread or any hearty, whole-grain bread (thick slices are nice but not necessary)
2 small zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, halved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper

Heat Panini or outdoor grill to medium heat.
Brush bread, pepper and zucchini with olive oil, kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill on both sides, watching closely, until nicely browned. Don't let zucchini get overly soft.
When bread is cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice zucchini into 1/2 inch slices and pepper into chunks. Set aside.

5 Tablespoons champagne, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, put thru garlic press
freshly ground black pepper

Mix marinade together.

1 1/2 pounds ripe, meaty tomatoes, cut into 1/2 cubes or small cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2 cubes (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 a red onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed (optional but good!)

In a small bowl, marinate the tomatoes, capers, cucumbers and red onion in the marinade for 10 minutes, or while grilling bread and veggies. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl, reserving the marinade.

3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (use more or less of these herbs as you have them)
1/2 cup (more or less) chopped Kalamata or Spanish olives (I've done it both ways)

Toss the bread cubes, grilled vegetables, marinated vegetables, herbs and olives together. Drizzle with marinade as much as you want. You should have slightly moist bread but not overly soggy lumps. This is great even the next day, though the bread is considerably soggier by then, it's still good!! And if you should happen upon some firm, smoked tofu? It's AWESOME cubed in the salad. Just sayin'...


Debra said...

this looks soo good.

Binx said...

I've always thought that bread salads sounded like a great idea, but I still have yet to make one!! i think it's because bread never, ever goes uneaten in this household... :)

pixiepine said...

That sounds delicious.