I had a partial loaf of bread left over from the shredded BBQ chicken from Monday night, so I toasted the bread cubes and tossed them with cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives for this panzanella salad from Vegetarian Times.
It's a great way to use up day-old bread, and the salad is very flavorful and perfect for summer. The flavors blend the longer it sits, but the bread does get soggy by the next day. To add protein to create an entrée salad, I topped the panzanella with broiled shrimp.
I also made carrot soup based on this recipe at epicurious.com. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I omitted the butter and used olive oil instead. It was colorful and packed with fresh, bright flavors.
Panzanella with Shrimp
1 small loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 pound tomatoes, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1 cup)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup basil, cut into thin ribbons
1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook garlic 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic-oil mixture, vinegar, sugar, and lemon zest. Add all remaining ingredients except shrimp to bowl, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
Preheat broiler. Spread shrimp onto baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil shrimp until pink and curled, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Top salad with shrimp. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Makes 4 servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups (or more) chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons sour cream
Chives, for garnish
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes, and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and chopped chives.
Makes 4 servings.