Tuscan Panzanella Salad (Credit: The Culinary Center of Kansas City)
In the Tuscany region of Italy, where bread is “king”, this dish is a staple. Bread is never wasted. Even when it’s stale, it’s used to create simple and delicious dishes, including soups and this great salad. Any kind of stale bread will work but hearty country bread is preferred. Balsamic vinegar can be substituted for the red wine vinegar which will add a whole new dimension to the salad.
Makes 4 servings
- 4 (3/4-inch) slices Italian bread, stale, cut or turn into small, rough chunks
- 3 to 4 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, halved
- 4 large tomatoes, vine-ripened, washed, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, finely chopped (or Swiss chard, spinach, or any other sturdy lettuce or green)
- 1 large red onion, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, fresh, washed, dried, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil, fresh, stems removed, washed, dried, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons oregano, fresh, washed, dried, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl add bread and enough water to just cover the bread. Set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the water to soak into the bread. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl rub exposed portions of garlic inside the entire bowl. Discard garlic. Using your hands, remove bread from bowl, one fistful at a time, and squeeze out as much water as possible; then place in bowl. Using a fork, break bread apart into smaller pieces. Add tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cucumber, vinegar, oil, parsley, basil, and oregano. Using salad tongs, gently toss all ingredients until well combined. Add salt and pepper and lightly toss to combine. Divide salad evenly among 4 individual salad plates. Serve immediately.
ETC: This recipe calls for soaking the bread in water; but, if you don’t have time to do so or your bread is not that stale, you may skip that step. The salad will still turn out wonderfully!
Find this and other CCKC favorite recipes in our cookbook –
“The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s BEST RECIPES – SECOND EDITION.” ™
Available for purchase online at HYPERLINK “http://www.kcculinary.com” www.kcculinary.com
and in our retail store – “The Kitchen Shop.”™
Mediterranean Spiced Burgers
Credit: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen
- 1 lb. ground lamb, beef or turkey
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 4 buns
- 1 small red onion
- Crumbled feta
- Grill pan
Finely chop ½ cup packed fresh cilantro. Crush 2 cloves garlic with press. Mix cilantro and garlic with 1 pound meat plus 1 tsp. ground coriander.
Heat grill pan to medium-high. Form meat mixture into 4 patties that are about ½ inch thick; sprinkle each patty with kosher salt. Add burgers to grill pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
While burgers cook, stir together 1/3 cup ketchup and 1 tsp. curry powder. Toast 4 buns. Slice 1 small red onion.
Once cooked, serve burgers on toasted buns. Top each with curry ketchup, crumbled feta cheese, red onion slices and cilantro, if desired.
Bourbon-Nectarine Ice Cream Sundaes with Pound-Cake Croutons
Credit: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 8 oz. all-butter pound cake, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 6 firm, ripe yellow nectarines, cut into thin wedges
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, melt 1 tbls. of the butter. Add the pound cake and toss to coat. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until toasted.
Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 3 tbsp. of butter and the nectarines and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the nectarines are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir to melt. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the bourbon and lemon juice. Tilt the pan slightly and carefully ignite the alcohol. Cook over moderate heat until the nectarines are softened and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Scoop the ice cream into bowls and spoon the nectarines and sauce on top. Garnish with the croutons and serve right away.