Dinner just for me! A Caprese Panzanella.

I spent the entire day studying wine, cleaning the apartment, introducing Lu Lu to her first catnip, having coffee with an old friend, and ended the “work at home day” with a run through the Laurelhurst neighborhood. It was a lovely and hungry day!

I ate chia almond milk pudding with champagne mango and blueberries for breakfast, leftover wild leek pesto pasta for lunch, and a panzanella for dinner.

I’d  been craving tomatoes all day, and all winter long. I can’t wait for the local tomatoes to pop up at the market, or P’s garden.

I ran into Whole Foods to grab some wheatberries, and couldn’t resist the heirloom tomatoes that were on special. They are from California, organic, and extremely gorgeous. Once the tomatoes were in my basket, some bread, a ball of fresh mozzarella, and basil also joined the party. I had Caprese on my mind, and nothing could stop me.

While cutting into the tomatoes, something just wasn’t right. They were absolutely flavorless. Of course they were. It’s not Summer, it’s not even tomato season. I decided to roast those babies on low heat for an hour with some imported piquillo peppers, which I added half way through.

Tomatoes and Bread

I’ve never been one to keep a basil plant alive, and I’m making it a goal to change that this Summer. I bought some bulk basil, and created a basil oil to dress the bread with before baking. I have to say, this took my dish, and happiness level, up a notch or two.

P has band practice tonight, and some projects to catch up on at home, so it’s just me and the kitten. I’ve decided to stay in and watch some bad TV on HULU,  oggle food blogs, design sites, and cookbooks for inspiration. I may even give myself a pedicure.

Caprese Panzanella

for two, or one if you are really hungry

  • 1/4 baguette
  • handful of fresh bail
  • good quality olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes, heirloom, beefsteak, roma, early girl, cherry, whatever you can get
  • 4 piquillo pepers from jar or can
  • balsamic vinegar
  • flaky sea salt
  • oil cured black olives
  • fresh mozzarella
steps:
  • Preheat oven to 150 F or 200 F depending on your oven’s temperament
  • Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise into 4 pieces, place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt, place in preheated oven for 1 hour
  • Place a handful of basil with some olive oil in processor to create a basil oil. Make sure basil is completely emulsified into a bright green oil.
  • Tear bread into pieces,  place in bowl, and coat lightly with basil oil, reserving the rest to dress the salad.
  • Slice piquillo’s into strips, and place in oven with the roasting tomatoes, 30 minutes into tomato roasting.
  • Pit and slice oil cured olives, or salted capers.
  • Once tomatoes are done, let cool. Throw bread in oven until lightly crisp, about 15 mins.
  • Once everything is cool, place in bowl, tear mozzarella into pieces, top with olives, dress with basil oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy your evening with a full happy belly.

Lu Lu

I can’t wait for Summer and FRESH caprese, but this will do for now. I may even share this with P in the future Spring evenings to come.
xoxo
Sarah
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