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Posts tagged ‘panzanella’

A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa



The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.




spring onion



shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.



Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2


1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.


red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.



The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.


makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.










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



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.



Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday