Dinner came right from the garden this evening ... the sun was still in the tomatoes. Really! They were warm from the sunshine. SB picked a big bunch of basil that smelled incredible! The corn that came from a friend's roadside stand was chilled from the burlap bag that held it in icy water. SB pulled an artisan loaf from the freezer that I'd baked a month ago and then shucked the corn in the back yard while I put together the rest of the tomato and bread salad. While the salad rested, we boiled up the corn. Such a simple supper that was so satisfying!
Making the salad is a snap. All it takes is good Portuguese sausage and more of those Vidalia onions cooked up to a golden slurry and sprinkled with a bit of oregano ... broiled bread cubes that are dressed with garlic powder and a bit of olive oil ... the freshest and fleshiest tomatoes you can get chopped in large chunks...a sherry vinegar dressing and plenty of black pepper ... toss everything together and let it sit for a good half hour to absorb all the juices and let the herbs and spices work.
We split the salad and had a couple ears of corn each ... and it was good ... and there were no leftovers.
This recipe came from the web ... a woman by the name of Melissa Clark posted it and I found it. I'm glad I did. It fit beautifully with what's coming out of our gardens and what's plentiful at the roadside stands right now in our little rural backwater. Give it a try ... it's a really good knosh!
Panzanella with Chourizo
3 c. fresh artisan bread cubes, 1-inch measure
5 tbsp. olive oil, plus some for drizzling on the bread pan
Two or three good shakes of garlic powder
½ lb. chourizo sausage, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ c. Vidalia onion, small dice
¼ tsp. dry oregano
1 tbsp. dry Sherry
1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
¼ tsp Kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
3 c. big, ripe beautiful tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chop
⅓ c. fresh basil, chopped
⅓ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
Making the Salad:
- Cut the bread into chunks, sprinkle some olive oil and garlic powder on a cookie sheet and rub the bread around in it a bit. Toast the bread under the broiler until it’s crisped and toasty. Remove and set aside.
- Place 1 tbsp. of the olive oil measure in a fry pan and add the prepped onion and Chourizo. Bring the heat up to medium high and fry until the onion is softened and the sausage is beginning to brown on the outer edges. Turn off the heat, add the oregano and set the pan aside to cool a bit.
- Chop the tomatoes and herbs and place them in a large salad bowl.
- Combine the Sherry, white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper in a bowl and whisk in the rest of the olive oil measure to make the dressing.
- Toss the sausage and onions and the bread in with the tomatoes and herbs and toss to combine.
- Drizzle the dressing over top and gently toss to coat everything. Set the warm salad aside to rest for about half an hour.
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side salad
Enjoy! Don't you just love summertime ?!?