Meatless Monday and sharing a bottle of wine over dinner, is a tradition we have recently slipped into, as it is the one evening neither of us has to rush off to do something else. We are discovering that vegetarian food does not have to be boring. It’s actually surprisingly easy to find recipes for dishes that you would cook or order in a restaurant, because you want to eat it, not because it is vegetarian. Italian cuisine offers up many such pleasures. Panzanella is light but satisfying, and pairs well with a good Chianti Classico.
Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
adapted from the several dozen but all very similar recipes on the web. David Rocco inspired me to try it after he prepared a version on Dolce Vita.
9-10 cups of day old rustic bread such as Italian crusty, cut into large cubes….1-2 inches
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 a large sweet onion, cut into thin slices
1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half, then quarters, then chunks
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
Parmesan for serving
Ingredients for Dressing:
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
good pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1. Combine bread and half of the marinade, toss and let sit to marinate for 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining marinade and other ingredients. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired. Salad does not keep so eat up!
Click HERE for a print-friendly version of this recipe.
On a sunny, but chilly December morning Maureen and I headed to the Locavore Artisan Food Market at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh. Located in a tiny community centre, the room was brimming with local food vendors and patrons, all there to celebrate our local food business and the local food movement.
Cookies, salsas, ice creams, breads, spreads, mustards, sauces, jams, pies, spices, cakes, full meals and many other items were being sold at a brisk pace. By the time you read this, the event will be over, of course. However the vendors make their products available via many outlets in the city and sometimes directly. It really is worth seeking out these artisans and supporting their businesses. It helps to diversify the Ottawa palate, grow the local economy, bring together the Ottawa food community, and it’s damn tasty too. These items make terrific presents and also make form a more interesting table at home.
We picked up more of Pascal’es amazing hot chocolate (and I hope to actually have some this time), some “Hot Toddy” ice cream, some michaelsdolce jams, Mrs. McGarrigle’s mustards, Yummy Cookies chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies and some smoked tomato jam from Just Wing’it. Yum!
Here’s a listing of all the local artisans with links to their websites. Please support them!