Tuesday, September 3, 2019

And That’s Why We Have Windows

I know it’s nice to have warning in order to prepare, but for our friends in Florida, Georgia, South – and now North – Carolina, along with their anxious relatives elsewhere, in must seem as if they’ve been waiting on Dorian for a month now. Being caught in a real life Groundhog Day is exhausting. To all who find themselves in the path of the storm, I’m certain your fellow MOTI will keep you in their prayers.

So for today’s diversion I’m just going to assemble my panzanella salad for you. I made this last Friday, when the weather was perfect and deck dining at its peak. I’m glad I didn’t wait for Labor Day as it began to rain at precisely the time we fired up the grill. Wouldn’t be a holiday weekend without rain, and the rest of it had been beautiful so we were due.

Anyway, here’s my panzanella: very simple, all you have to do is procure fresh, preferably homegrown ingredients and get your chopping board out. I don’t have a recipe, just a list of ingredients.

Start with tomatoes; I used pear, cherry and half of a beefsteak, left over from lunch:

Slivered red onions:



which is growing with reckless abandon on my deck right now.

Then the key ingredient, day old, really good bread, torn or cubed, as you may remember from my Ann Arbor rant last week, this is Zingerman’s Paesano:

Next, I just drizzle it with a bit of vinegar and toss of bit. Red wine vinegar is traditional but I use Fini balsamic, which I forgot to get a picture of, but you can see it there in the shadows if you squint and look carefully. You don’t need much, but bring the bottle to the table in case somebody wants more. Ditto the olive oil.

Now add extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper to taste and toss again.

If you want, add a handful of arugula,

it’s good, not withstanding Barry.

arugula snob

Serve immediately, here with corn fresh off the cob and grilled gravlax ala Raj (lightly cured salmon, just warmed through on the grill).

Panzanella - it’s not the prettiest salad - that would be my Nicoise

- but it’s definitely one of the tastiest you’ll ever have. And very forgiving. Some people add bell peppers, make a vinaigrette, even toast the bread, none of that is necessary in my humble opinion. Keep it simple, stupid. The world would be a much better place if people just remembered that simple axiom from early IT code writing days.

Of course even the programmers quickly abandoned the principle and that’s why we have Windows 10 today.