Well, well. It seems the lovely Scarlett is out of town. I hear she is on a rustic mini holiday, deep in the breast of Europe, probably eating her way through the south of France by now. Jealousy is an understatement. But have no fear. We may have missed her beloved Meatless Monday posts, but she is with us in spirit as always. Here she shares a goodbye meal. I find it quite fitting actually. A meal comprised of bits and pieces of leftovers scattered throughout. Perfect for the last minute packer or neurotic traveler, who has not the least bit of time to do shopping before a red eye flight, but still craves a home cooked meal nonetheless. Cheers to Scarlett. Let's hope she brings back vivid gastronomic anecdotes worthy of vicarious living.
Here's the recipe for a sweet and simple Italian summer salad: roasted panzanella (bread salad). First version of a panzanella to be found here. A great way to use up any kinds of vegetables, breads and things in your freezer (like these fresh, hand podded sweet peas that I prepared some weeks ago). Bon appetit.
Summer Roasted Panzanella
- 1 stale bread, cut or torn into large cubes
- 1 cup freshly podded or frozen sweet peas
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (in different colors)
- 1 medium aubergine, cubed
- 1 red pepper, cubed
- 1 glass artichokes (in olive oil), halved
- handful black olives (ideally pitted)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 rosemary sprig, needles minced
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
for the basil pesto (serves as a dressing):
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 sprig oregano, leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon zest plus drizzle lemon juice
- 1 drop of acacia honey
- 1 drop of sriracha hot sauce or chili paste
- salt, pepper
- preheat the oven to 220 degrees. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. evenly spread the aubergine cubes, pepper cubes, artichoke halves and olives (ideally with enough space in between, not layered on top of each other). drizzle with olive oil, add the garlic cloves, minced rosemary needles and season with salt and pepper. place the tomatoes in a separate oven proof pan, also drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. roast both, on separate levels, in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- in the meantime, blanch the peas in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds. drain and cool in ice water. put aside. heat enough olive oil in a large frying pan, and gently and slowly roast the bread cubes until golden-brown and crispy.
- for the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. season with salt and pepper.
- to assemble, remove the vegetables from the oven. place the roasted bread cubes on a plate, add the aubergines, peppers, artichokes, olives, tomatoes, arrange the sweet peas and drizzle with the basil pesto. if necessary, season with more salt and drizzle with a bit more of olive oil. serve tepid.