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A Simple Bread Salad For Fiesta Friday #28

New Jersey's finest fresh vegetables

New Jersey’s finest fresh vegetables

I’ll be honest everyone, last week was rough for me. Not only was I extremely busy with work but I have to somehow balance demanding workload with 2 very sick senior dogs who are deteriorating despite my best efforts. According to my Vet he thinks Nando had a minor stroke, Izzy has had a very hard time breathing it seems only one lung is usable, the right side of her heart is enlarged, her trachea and bronchial stem have collapsed. They are also both diabetic. You have to know how much I love my dogs and would do anything to make hem happy and as comfortable as possible. I lacked inspiration to make anything substantial but did get a wonderful surprise via my friend who lives in New Jersey, it seems her neighbor a feisty Italian lady is quite the gardener and although I have never met her in person she picked these beautiful vegetables from her garden for me. There is a story behind her tomatoes, the seeds are from Italy and every year after she harvests the tomatoes she saves the seeds to propagate the species I guess you could say.

Although this salad is very simple and really does not require a recipe it is nonetheless very special. The vegetables are all from the sweet lady in New Jersey who each year lovingly saves the seeds so that the blood line will continue and the Italian tomato lives on year after year. So my offering for this Fiesta Friday hosted and lovingly put together each week by Angie@The Novice Gardener and our amazing co hosts Saucy@ Saucy Gander and Margot@Gather and Graze. If you had to do a double take, yes, Saucy and Margot agreed to stay on as co hosts a second week in a row. That Dame Edna just won’t leave the party, she really knows how to party hard.

Panzanella aka Italian Bread Salad

Some stale bread, a couple of days old is good cut into bite size pieces

Good juicy ripe tomatoes

Shallot

Cucumber

parsley and basil

toasted pine nuts (optional) I love them in the salad

salt and pepper

red wine vinegar and olive oil

Put the bread cubes in a big bowl, mix the tomato, shallot, cucumber with some vinegar and oil, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the bread, add the chopped basil and parsley and pine nuts. Toss to combine and serve after letting it sit for about 30 minutes. The bread needs to soak up the juices of the tomatoes, vinegar and oil.

Panzanella

Panzanella

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

114 Comments Post a comment
  1. Suzanne… i understand all too well. It’s hard and heartbreaking. Sending you the biggest hugs in the world.

    But oh those fresh tomatoes! Simple pleasures truly are the best. Dig-in and enjoy! 🙂

    August 10, 2014
  2. Really sorry to hear about the deteriorating health of your senior dogs. It’s so sad when our beloved pets grow old, sending you and them big hugs.

    August 10, 2014
  3. Such vibrant and fresh colors. Looks great!

    August 10, 2014
  4. Sue #

    Oh Suzanne, so sorry to hear about your dogs . . . they are so sweet and it’s so sad when our pets are suffering! But thank you for rallying and bringing the panzanella, always a hit dish in our household especially in the summer.

    August 10, 2014
    • Thanks so much, mine too. Grew up on panzanella, it’s my favorite.

      August 10, 2014
  5. Antisocial Patty #

    The salad looks amazing. I’m so sorry Izzy and Nando aren’t doing well. Hugs to both you and them.

    August 10, 2014
  6. Dev #

    FANtAstico

    August 10, 2014
  7. Hi Suzanne, so sorry about your sweet dogs…..this salad looks delicious!

    August 10, 2014
  8. Suzanne, I was so saddened to read about Nando’s and Izzy’s health, it must be very difficult time for you… If there is anything I could to cheer you up, please let me know.

    August 10, 2014
    • Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, the fact that you offer to cheer me up makes me very happy and thankful,

      August 10, 2014
  9. Maria DeBrango Stickel #

    Sending love to you and your sweet pups. We know that our pets are our family. Love, Maria

    Sent from my iPhone

    August 10, 2014
  10. So sorry to hear about your pups, Suzanne. It’s just the pits when our furry family members aren’t well. I’ve been meaning to make Panzanella this summer . . . and your pretty post reminded me! Hang in there!!

    August 10, 2014
    • Thank you, it’s very depressing. These were my first good tomatoes and I was so glad to make this salad.

      August 10, 2014
  11. So sorry to hear about your dogs, Suzanne. Hang in there, ok?

    This bread salad looks delicious, thanks for bringing it to the party 🙂

    August 10, 2014
  12. Hello Suzanne,

    I am so very sorry to hear your beloved pugs are so unwell. I am sending you a virtual hug. Take care. Bx

    Ps the salad looks good and what a lovely story about the tomatoes and the New Jersey gardener.

    August 10, 2014
    • Thanks for the hug it’s much needed and appreciated. Italians are amazing gardeners, all except for me, I think that i was passed over when that gene was handed out. My Dad could grow anything anywhere, my Grandfather brought cuttings or seeds of Italian grapes and made his own wine, he also had an extraordinary vegetable garden, berry bushes and fruit trees. I grow weeds really well.

      August 10, 2014
      • I am good at growing weeds too. I do manage to grow plants too but that might be down to all the watering they get (Irish rain) rather than innate skill. Take care. 😉

        August 10, 2014
  13. Looks truly delish

    August 10, 2014
  14. I’m soooo sorry about your pugs gosh so hard I want to give you a hug and hope that things are comfortable for them x

    August 10, 2014
  15. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that both Izzy and Nando are unwell 😦 I really really hope that they improve soon. One thing is sure: you will spoil them to bits and make them as comfortable as is humanly possible. A hug is winging its way to you over the Atlantic. By the way your vegetables look so fresh and beautiful and your salad sounds divine…

    August 10, 2014
    • I love spoiling them. Izzy is having a bit of a better day today than yesterday but poor Nando is a bit of a mess. They appear happy though and comfortable and are loved. Thanks so much,

      August 10, 2014
  16. Oh so sorry to hear about your pugs, Suzanne! It is really just the hardest thing to go through because they can’t speak for themselves.

    Your salad looks divine and I would just love to have some of those tomato seeds too! 😀

    August 10, 2014
    • Thanks, I am going to try to get some seeds from her, if I do I can send you some.

      August 10, 2014
  17. My heart goes out to you Suzanne. The hardest part of opening our hearts, home, and life to our animal family members is that we tend to outlive them. When they start to age, and problems emerge, it’s just heartbreaking to witness. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can for them, and more. And the panzanella – it’s one of my favorite ways to celebrate tomato season!

    August 10, 2014
    • Thanks so much Susan, it’s so hard because they don’t live long, we get our hearts broken over and over and it doesn’t get any easier.

      August 10, 2014
  18. I hope they feel better soon! xxx Hugs to you & your beloved dogs! xx

    A lovely panzanella salad! Yummm!

    August 10, 2014
  19. petra08 #

    Am so sorry to hear about Nando and Izzy! I love my dogs and dread anything happening to them, ever!
    I love your story about the tomatoes, they look home grown, wholesome and full of flavour! I have some stale bread so might give this a go for lunch tomorrow 🙂

    August 10, 2014
    • Thank you so much Petra, it’s so hard knowing their time is so limited here.

      August 10, 2014
  20. This salad sounds great–I can almost taste those juicy tomatoes! 🙂

    August 10, 2014
    • The tomatoes were amazing and when I found out the story behind them they were even more amazing. Thank you so much.

      August 11, 2014
  21. Oh Suzanne, that’s so heart-breaking to hear. Sending you much love, thoughts and strength. These dear little members of our families bring such happiness to our lives… the bonds between some though are stronger than others and I’ve so quickly come to realise that it doesn’t get any stronger than that between you, Izzy and Nando. Please give them a cuddle from me…
    Thank you for having the strength to still be part of FF this week… what a beautiful contribution and so lovely the story of your Italian friend and her tomato seeds. M.xx

    August 10, 2014
    • Thanks Margot, luckily this was an easy recipe so I was happy to do it and how could I miss FF, I just couldn’t. Thank you so much for co hosting again and for the kind words.

      August 11, 2014
  22. I’m so sorry about your sweet dogs. Our pets are members of our families it’s so hard when they are sick. Glad you had some friendly support. Your panzanella salad looks delicious.

    August 10, 2014
  23. Poor puppies. I’m sorry. The world needs people to save heirloom seeds so that we don’t end up with one bland GMO tomato. Good for her. Thank you for always having something kind to say to your fellow bloggers. We notice. Be well, Tracey

    August 10, 2014
    • Thank you Tracey, I totally agree, I am so happy that she continues each year to save those seeds. It’s amazing really because this has gone on for many years. She is an intuitive gardener, a quality I wish I possessed. Thank you also for the kind words.

      August 11, 2014
  24. So sorry to hear about your dogs. It’s heart breaking to hear.

    You salad looks delicious!

    August 10, 2014
  25. Your panzanella looks fantastic and the special tomatoes must taste wonderfully. I am very sorry to hear about the pugs, but I am sure they are being looked after by the best “Mom” they could ever have!

    August 10, 2014
    • Thank you so much Viviana, I try very hard to do the best I can for my pups, it’s frustrating when my best isn’t good enough.

      August 11, 2014
  26. M-R #

    You have presented panzanella very attractively ! – makes my mouth water, and not all versions do. 😀

    August 10, 2014
  27. so sorry to hear that your dogs aren’t doing so well. We are dog people – we had 2 mini schnauzers but one escaped last year & hasn’t been seen since. Heart-broken doesn’t begin to cover it 😦 You did well to get anything up for FF, let alone something so vibrant & delish-looking.

    August 10, 2014
    • Oh no, that would break my heart also. Dog lovers/people understand each other. I share your heart break. Thank you so much.

      August 11, 2014
  28. I am so sorry to hear about your dogs 😦 I understand lacking the motivation when you have more serious things to worry about. I hope everything will be ok.

    August 10, 2014
  29. I am soory that your dogs are not well. Simple and refreshing salad like the addition of bread

    August 11, 2014
  30. Liz #

    What a pretty salad, but I am so sorry to hear about your dogs. We only have one cat and she’s the first pet I ever had, so I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to see the animals you love in pain 😦 So glad you have friends sending you food for comfort. Your Italian friend sounds awesome.

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks Liz, it was a lovely surprise and one I was thrilled to receive.

      August 11, 2014
  31. Suzanne, very delicious and beautiful salad, but I’m so very sorry to hear how much your poor pugs are struggling. 😢 That breaks my heart and I know how much you love them. You are such a good mommy to them. It’s very hard to watch an animal you love suffer so much. I’ve been through it more than once and it’s very, very difficult. Sending you big hugs.

    August 11, 2014
  32. Dear Suzanne, I’m sorry to hear about your dogs’ deteriorating health. 😦
    The salad sounds very fresh and wonderful. I received some home grown vegetables from a good friend too and I cooked them today for dinner tomorrow. I will post the recipe soon.

    August 11, 2014
  33. CC #

    Perfetto! Great minds think alike…I just made Panzanella last week! 😉 So yummy!

    August 11, 2014
    • Yes, Panzanella is the perfect venue for those gorgeous summer tomatoes. Thanks Christina.

      August 11, 2014
  34. Suzanne, I’m really, really sorry for your dogs.
    Your salad looks very tasty 🙂 Take care my Dear 🙂

    August 11, 2014
  35. Oh those vegetables looks so good. I love this type of salad – Would eat it for my meal. So fresh it screams summer!

    August 11, 2014
    • I throw in some fresh mozzarella and it’s a meal for me. Thanks Cindy

      August 11, 2014
  36. Suzanne, I am also sorry to hear about your dogs, it’s not easy for them or their family. Stay well and strong. And then, what beautiful tomatoes, I could look at them forever (though I would also eat them). Thank you for still sharing this beautiful post with Fiesta Friday this week!

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks Saucy, I am lucky I have friends that help me at times by sitting with the pugs if I have to be out for an extended period of time. They cannot be left alone for more an 2 hrs at a time. I was so happy to get those veggies and just kept looking at them, the color so vibrant and knowing they were grown with such love made them even tastier,

      August 11, 2014
  37. Suzanne, I’m so so sorry to hear about Izzy and Nando…. I know how much you love them… and I know all too well the heartbreak that comes with caring for an elderly (I want to say pet, but they’re so much more than a pet, aren’t they?) loved one. I’m thinking of you, and if there is anything I can ever do for you, you know I’m here.

    On a lighter note, your salad looks absolutely amazing. I can only imagine how glorious the tomatoes taste, just knowing that their parent seeds came from Italy…I love that… it’s kind of comforting in a way for me.

    Just know that I’m thinking of you… let me know what I can do. ❤

    August 11, 2014
  38. Oh no Suzanne! sorry to read the news about Nando and Izzy– hopeful your good care will see them through… I know how much you love those two guys.

    The salad sounds summer perfect. We have some tomatoes in the yard (not as beautiful as the ones in your photo!)– I love the story about the seeds coming from Italy– a sweet legacy.

    OK, friend, hoping and praying all goes well with you and the pugs…

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks Rhonda, I would love for them to live forever or at least stay with me but I know thats not how it works. They are both doing as well as can be expected, I try my best to take good care of them. Thanks for the kind words I really do appreciate it

      August 11, 2014
      • They are blessed to have you at their side…

        August 11, 2014
  39. Hi Suzanne, i’m so sorry to hear about Izzy and Nando’s deteriorating health. Hope you feel better. Take care dear.

    August 11, 2014
  40. Love the pics!!! Tomatoes are so pretty!

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks so much Sarah, yes tomatoes and fruit and vegetables in general are so beautiful.

      August 11, 2014
  41. Suzanne, two things: first – I love your salad recipe!
    Second – My cat had a minor stroke that I diagnosed after 2 vets couldn’t figure out why she stopped eating and was freaked out. She lost 9 lbs and the vision in her right eye before it was obvious to me.
    I immediately started sprinkling Turmeric in her food (anti-inflammatory and blood thinner). Within days, she started eating better. Then I found a homeopathic remedy for anxiety and stress. It’s done wonders!
    She has gained at least a pound or two, and is willing to come to the kitchen and be stroked by a couple of us: http://www.petflow.com/product/homeopet/homeopet-anxiety-relief

    Best to you three.

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks so much Hoda, Nando and Izzy’s vet is Integrative but a genius in homeopathy, holistic medicine and is just plain amazing, He has a homeopathic pharmacy on the premises and they mix what they call BHI’s for the patients. He sent me something to help Nando and I bet it contains turmeric but will add some to his food just in case it doesnt’. He wants to eat but has a very hard time. I have to help him by holding him and help him get the food in his mouth, He is diabetic so that complicates things and has been blind for 6 years now. I also give him Bach flowers rescue remedy, I bet it’s very similar to what you use. Thank you so much. I also give him and Izzy ginger mixed with carrot in their food.

      August 11, 2014
      • Oh he and Izzy both are on oxygen drops that I put in their food and water.

        August 11, 2014
      • So glad! ❤

        August 12, 2014
  42. Fig & Quince #

    Seeds from Italy? Tomatoes from a friend’s garden? Beautiful bread salad? All sound amazing. But the news about the King and Queen makes me sad. Oh Suzanne. Well, you are the best mommy they could have and love is going all around between you guys so ultimately all is good, I hope.

    August 11, 2014
    • Thanks so much, the King and Queen are holding their own right now, Izzy has improved a little glad about that,

      August 11, 2014
  43. My eyes were filed with tears while reading about Nando and lzzy, ì know it’s so tough to go through when pets are unwell and they can’t express nor speak….how bad, hope they get well soon, just pray for it….And ya salad looks so refreshing, perfect for summer. …
    Hugs and my love to Nando and lzzy. …

    August 11, 2014
    • Thank you so much Chitra. I am just hoping they are with me longer, you are so sweet thank you again.

      August 11, 2014
  44. What a delightful story and gift as well as a beautiful tray of perfect tomatoes.

    My heart goes out to you and your pugs. I am sure you have looked into everything but have you tried mushrooms? There is research that shows certain mushroom varieties can help diabetes.

    August 11, 2014
    • Thank you Stacey, no I didn’t know about mushrooms. I’ll have to research that and see which varieties are good for diabetes. There are several herbs and foods that I do use for them, it’s amazing really the healing properties of foods.

      August 11, 2014
  45. Simple but elegant and tasty – beautiful job 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    August 11, 2014
  46. I’m so sorry to hear about the little pugs. I can only imagine how heartbreaking! I got back from Italy a couple of weeks ago and I had to rush Sofia to the emergency. Those hours (I had to hospitalize her) were among the worst of my life. Now she is fine, cheerful and playful as always but the experience was awful. I can only imagine what you are going through every day. My heart reaches out to you.
    The salad sounds and looks fantastic. How nice that lady was! An act of pure kindness!

    August 11, 2014
    • Oh no so sorry to hear about Sophia, what was it? I am so glad she is ok now but it is the worst thing in the world to have that happen, I know I feel helpless. Thank you so much Francesca, so glad you got to spend some time in Italy and also very glad you are home. Thank you again.

      August 12, 2014
      • She threw up for hours and the doctor could understand what the cause was. But thank goodness, now she is perfectly fine. Thank you for asking!
        Leaving again during the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding and to bring Her Majesty home. 🙂

        August 12, 2014
      • So glad Sophia is alright. It’s so scary; Have fun at the wedding and won’t it be good to have Her Majesty home!

        August 12, 2014
  47. Aw poor doggies. This salad is beautiful though. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    August 12, 2014
  48. Hi Suzanne, I have been really busy last week. But when I back to this blog world, I felt so upset to hear your beloved dogs have been ill. Wish they all getting better and better.

    August 12, 2014
  49. Panzanella is such a great dish. I bet yours is perfection!! Please give my love to Izzy and Nando! Thinking of you all!!

    August 12, 2014
    • Thanks Em, I will give Izzy and Nando a big hug from you, Nutmeg and Percy,

      August 12, 2014
  50. Aw. Love and hugs to the pugs. xo

    August 15, 2014
  51. Ummey @notbikiniready #

    I’m not a salad kinda gal but this looks yummy!

    August 16, 2014
    • I like salads but given a choice I would probably pick something different except for this one, it’s really good maybe because the bread is so good in it. Thanks so much.

      August 16, 2014
  52. I hope your babies are feeling better since we chatted last. Much love from Bailey and I in CA!

    August 17, 2014
  53. I hope your pugs get better soon. Emma xx

    September 5, 2014

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