First in a random series of what to make with odds and ends of leftovers and scraps of food
I cleaned the freezer today and found 3/4 of a loaf of Italian bread from God only knows when. What to do, what to do?
The answer was panzanella or bread salad. Once it was thawed I sniffed the loaf to make sure it wasn’t freezer burned and then sliced it about 3/4 inch thick. I tossed the slices with some olive oil and fired up the grill for just long enough to put a nice char on the slices. Then I cut the bread slices into cubes and tossed them in my giant stainless mixing bowl with more olive oil and about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. I added baby kale, minced garlic, basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, capers and at the very last minute before service, I added some shavings of ricotta salata cheese.
If you’ve never used ricotta salata cheese, it’s a very mild semi soft cheese like Cotija or farmer cheese, and it is a great cheese to use in salads. Very light and fresh. You should be able to find it in your grocer’s cheese crib.
The rest of my finds while cleaning were not put to use in the same productive manner as the bread. Most of the discards were not identifiable as anything, so out they went. I was really appalled however to see a piece of bluefish (my favorite oily fish) from 2009. Ugh. I have to do better.