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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bacon Panzanella (bread and tomato salad)

A nice spin on the classic tomato and bread Italian salad, Panzanella. If I start thinking about ways in which that oh-so-wonderful invention could be made better, there are plenty of paths to take, but bacon has to be the first choice. It just has to. Sure, asparagus and egg, or green beans and capers are all great things to try, but if it's a deep autumn chili evening and all you crave is comfort food, bacon is the way to go. 
So if you haven't tried bacon Panzanella so far, now's the time. Go. 

Last year: Irish nettle soup.
Two years ago: Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes and greens).
Three years ago: Turkey pieces in emmentaler sauce.
Four years ago: Orange caramel pastry windmillsParmesan cream potatoes and Vegetarian chili tacos with avocado salsa (Mexican).

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 150-200 g crusty peasant-style bread (I used half of a multi-seed rye baguette)
  • 300 tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber (75-100 g)
  • a wedge of red onion, chopped 
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 100 g lean smoked bacon, broken into pieces and fried

Chop the tomatoes and cucumber and onion and put them in a medium-large salad bowl. Add the bread, cut into large cubes, and mix. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. (Go easy on the salt, the bacon will be salty too). Mix once more and allow the bread to soak up the juices a bit.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon, and when it's done pour the whole content of the pan (bacon and the resulting fat and all) on top of the salad. Look how gorgeous it is.

It's done, dig in!

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