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Jim Causley Buick

Fall provides final tomato salad


A la Annie



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Michigan tomatoes in panzanella. photo by Virginia O. McCoy.
September 27, 2012
It's been raining tomatoes in my house thanks to many family members who grew more tomatoes than they knew what to do with. Whether beef steaks or plums, juicy reds right from the vine have staying power you don't find in the grocery story.

As my freezer fills up with slow roasted tomatoes, I decided to serve some of my Michigan tomatoes in a panzanella (Italian bread salad). Fresh cut tomatoes tossed with just made croutons, red onion, kalamata olives and just a bit of feta.


Panzanella

1 loaf (round) rustic Italian bread

5 to 6 just picked ripened tomatoes (medium), cut into bite sized pieces

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1/2 cut thinly sliced red onion

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh oregano

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

olive oil

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Cut top of bread about half way down. Pull bits of bread out to form croutons, leaving just a bit of bread inside crust. Toast bottom of round just until golden brown and set aside. Place croutons on a bake sheet and drizzle lightly with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toast croutons until they are just golden brown. Place cut tomatoes in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in onion, olives, feta and croutons. Drizzle salad with olive oil and vinegar.

Toss in parsley and oregano. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Place salad back into toasted bread round and serve.

All the fresh flavors bounce right off the juicy tomatoes in this end of the summer salad.


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