The idea for preparing this salad came from the necessity to use a whole-wheat baguette that I’d bought with the intention of preparing something else. However, laziness and procrastination set in and my fresh whole-wheat baguette became a day-old loaf that would have otherwise been tossed out had it not been for this panzanella. Panzanella is a Tuscan salad where the main ingredients are toasted cubes of bread, usually past their prime, tomatoes and a dressing of some sort. Panzanellas are really easy to make, and like all salads they are customizable and highly forgiving. For my Thai-inspired version, I used fresh, red-Thai chili, the longer ones, not the tiny intensely hot ones; golden strips of zesty ginger, which add a pepperiness; and fresh mint, which is slightly cooling. Although it isn’t necessary to use day old bread, I find it holds up better in this salad and doesn’t get too soggy, like fresh breads may sometimes become. This recipe is enough for 4 smaller portions served as a side salad or two hearty full-sized lunch portions, as is usually the case for Ned and me.
For the salad: For the Dressing:
For the salad:
For the Dressing: