Panzanella Salad

When I started getting more serious about cooking, food and the blog, I decided that I had to make a conscious effort to not be restricted by foods I didn’t like.

I started forcing myself to eat thing that I had previously rejected.

For the most part it worked out. Suddenly I will eat oysters, curry and I will actually try something that is “spicy.”

When I made this dish, I found myself put off by an ingredient for the first time in a long time.

It wasn’t even something that I had really had before. But every cartoon/movie I watched as a child told me to stay far, FAR away.


Even though there was an insanely small amount in this salad, it really freaked me out.

They looked fine and smelled fine, but every time I just THOUGHT about the word anchovy, I got the willies.

Of course I forced myself to eat them. And they tasted great. As long as I didn’t THINK about it.

Mind over matter people. Mind over matter.

I hope you are a little more open minded than I was, but if not, this salad will be just as delicious if you decided to go sans anchovies.

You will need…

1 cup chopped romaine
2 anchovies, filet

1/8 cup roasted red tomatoes

1/8 cup roasted yellow peppers

½ lemon, juice and zest
1/4 pound ciabatta bread
4 fresh basil, leaves

1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup parmesan reggiano
Salt and pepper to taste

For the oregano vinaigrette...

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

3 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Dijon mustard

Start by heating your grill to a medium heat (350F will work). Brush the ciabatta bread with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place on the grill and cook for about a minute on a side. Be sure to get some goo grill mark on the bread to add flavor to the salad.

Once bread has been grilled, cut into 1 inch pieces.

To make the dressing, combine the garlic, vinegar, fresh and dried oregano, parsley, honey, salt and Dijon mustard in a food processor or blender.

Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add in the olive oil a bit at a time until completely blended.

In a medium bowl add the chopped romaine, anchovies, roasted red tomatoes, roasted yellow peppers, fresh lemon (juice and zest), fresh basil, ciabatta grilled crotons and salt and pepper to taste with.

Dress the salad with ¼ up of the dressing (the recipe makes a lot more for future uses).

Top it off with the parmesan, toss and serve.

What foods freak you out?

Love and Beer Floats