Friday, August 28, 2015

Panzanella (Classic Italian Tomato Salad)

The Recipe: Aiiiii, summer tomatoes. When they're the very ripest, the very juiciest, the deepest color, it's the classic Italian tomato salad called Panzanella that moves my summer table to silence. What a salad, what a meal.

Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.

~Recipe updated & republished 2015 for a little weekend cooking inspiration~

Panzanella (Classic Italian Tomato Salad) ♥ KitchenParade.com, a must-make summer salad. Worthy of an occasion, we make it a meal! Vegan. WW5.
Easy Summer Recipes, a special collection of easy summer recipes.  Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published every summer since 2009.
Watch for new "summer easy" recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


COMPLIMENTS!
"Thanks for a terrific recipe!" ~ Kirsten @ Farm Fresh Feasts


A small town may be better measured by the stamp of its spirit than the size of its population or the span of its geography.

There’s a small-town substance to this place we call home. It’s true for St Louis itself but especially the neighborhoods that readers of this paper know best, the ones of old trees and new cafés, strong schools and smart kids, low fences and good neighbors. (Does one begat the other?)

There’s the noon’n’six hymns from the bell tower at First Pres. And the prime-corner real estate of budding entrepreneurs who operate summer’s lemonade stands. And morning walkers who’d be strangers except that we know each others’ dogs by name. And a hush on holiday mornings, especially when flags ripple in remembrance. And the haunting horn of the train that rumbles through on Sundays around bedtime. And a familiar name in an obituary, the neighbor’s cousin, wasn’t he?, the one whose sister moved away but came back to raise her family and whose brother’s grandchildren are in Little League, now, with yours?

This is Kitchen Parade’s debut in the Webster-Kirkwood Times and the South County Times but my mom started the column for a small-town newspaper way back in 1959.

I hope that it fast becomes a turn-to corner of this newspaper for both new and experienced cooks, one that feels like sharing a coffee (and a recipe!) over the kitchen table with an old friend.

ALANNA's TIPS PANZANELLA is simple country fare but when the tomatoes are ripe, it’s food for kings. It’s only as good as its ingredients so decent bread, vinegar, oil and salt are also in order. For bread, stale bread works great. Just make sure it's a sturdy, hearty bread. We're big fans of the sour dough loaves from Whole Foods. Another idea? Substitute slices of leftover cornbread for the hearty bread. If you don't want to fire up the grill, just rub the bread with garlic, then fry until slightly crisp in a bit of bacon grease. A tender-skinned English cucumber works, so does a just-picked garden cucumber, though you'll probably want to peel it (or at least "stripe" the peel) and scoop out the center seeds.

PANZANELLA
(CLASSIC ITALIAN TOMATO SALAD)

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 15 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 slices hearty bread
  • 4 perfectly ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 a cucumber, diced fine
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons capers
  • Grilled bread, torn into pieces
  • About 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • To taste, salt
  • To taste, freshly ground pepper

Rub the garlic clove on the bread, then grill or broil both sides until lightly toasted.

Core and dice the tomatoes. (Optional: If the tomatoes' skins are unappealing, it takes only a few extra minutes to "blanch" tomatoes. Just drop them into boiling water for a minute, then rinse under cold water until the skins peel off easily with a knife. For "all meat" tomatoes, cut them in half, then remove and discard the seeds with a small spoon. Chop the remaining tomato meat.)

Combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil, garlic and capers in a large serving bowl. (Stop here if making in advance.)

Just before serving, stir in the bread pieces, letting them soak up the tomato juice for a minute. Splash with the vinegar and olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Best served right away, it can be a meal in itself!

LEFTOVERS But here's a way to use up any leftovers – or reason to make extra! Just remove the bread, then toss what remains with hot pasta and some good grated parmesan. Even my dad, who's not all that keen on pasta, says, "This is a really refreshing way to eat pasta." I love it too!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 190 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 26g Carb; 5g Fiber; 553mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4 & WW Points Plus 5.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!
A LITTLE HISTORY Back in 2005, this was Kitchen Parade's debut column and recipe in my very own hometown newspaper, the Webster-Kirkwood Times and its sister publication the South County Times. They're small-town weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of about 100,000. For a fifth-generation newspaper person, it was an amazing honor to be back in print! Too bad, though, when the financial collapse occurred in 2008, the paper dropped my column. But there was a big upside! I was able to expand Kitchen Parade's frequency and content to match a much broader audience, not just a local one. And since 2011, of course, I've been back in print with a much larger audience with a weekly column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Yes, it's true. When one door closes, another opens.

For Summer's Very Best Tomatoes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad Red Rice with Tomatoes Summer's Tomato Soup
BLT Pasta Salad Lamb with Sweet Tomato Jam Grilled Steak with Summer Tomato Salad
~ more tomato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BATTLE Sandwiches: BLTs on Steroids

How to make a BATTLE Sandwich. No recipe required, all you need to know is what B-A-T-T-L and E stand for. If you love a good BLT? You're gonna be in h-e-a-v-e-n.

BATTLE Sandwiches, they're BLTs on Steroids ♥ KitchenParade.com.
Easy Summer Recipes, a special collection of easy summer recipes.  Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published every summer since 2009.
Watch for new "summer easy" recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Okay. So you don't need a recipe. You don't even need the "ALANNA's TIPS" that so many of you love.

All you need to know? What BATTLE stands for.


B is for Bacon.


A is for Avocado.


T is for Toast.


T is for Tomato.


L is for Lettuce.


And finally?


E is for an Egg on Top.


Now?

Go Make One!

BATTLE SANDWICHES

Hands-on time: Not too long.
Time to table: Not soon enough.
Makes a summer feast.
  • B – we bake bacon
  • A – avocado, quite soft but not mushy
  • T – toast made from good-tasting, sturdy bread, maybe toasted in a skillet, always schmeared with mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • T – tomato, only the very best tomato-juice-down-your-arms tomatoes
  • L – lettuce
  • E – egg on top, preferably a runny egg
NUTRITION INFORMATION Sorry, I'm not even going to take a swag here, there are just too many unknowns, especially how much calorie-dense bacon, avocado and mayo and differences in bread. Suffice it to say, this is not diet food.


BATTLE Sandwiches, they're BLTs on Steroids ♥ KitchenParade.com.

So many thanks to my dear college friend Laurie, an opthamologist opthomologist opthimologist – yikes how DO you spell that? Okay right, she's an ophthalmologist, an eye doctor.

And you won't believe your eyes when you see what Laurie and her husband's little chicks (now grown children away at school) make when everyone returns to the family nest during the summer. The family tradition? BATTLE Sandwiches.

We made our first BATTLE Sandwiches the very day that Laurie mentioned them on Facebook, I snapped a quick photo with my phone!


Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Sandwich Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave Mexican Pizza (Oaxaca Tlayuda) Easy Skinny Turkey Roll-ups with Fresh Veggies
~ more sandwich recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2015 Kitchen Parade



Friday, August 14, 2015

Grilled Steak with Summer Tomato Salad

The Recipe: This steak salad is built, literally and figuratively, on layers of flavor and texture. The grilled meat sits atop a wet and messy salad of summer tomatoes (aren't they just glorious? this salad really shows them off), avocado and lettuce that wilts, just slightly, in an onion-bacon-poblano vinaigrette. It all just works, so well, SO WELL, together.

The Conversation: August, the month of unapologetic gluttony.

Recipe updated from the Recipe Box for a little weekend cooking inspiration!

Grilled Steak Salad with Summer Tomato Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, a true summer feast, sliced steak with a wet, messy salad of tomatoes, avocado and lettuce slightly wilted in a onion-bacon-poblano vinaigrette. Gorgeous! WW9

For seasonal eaters, August is a month of unapologetic gluttony.

In August, a morning walk to the garden yields a basket overflowing with tomatoes, cucumber, onions and okra. A weekly trip to the farmers market means discovering green beans, sweet corn, eggplant, blackberries and sticky figs. Even the grocery store has faux farmstands laden with the most plentiful local vegetables and fruits: here in St. Louis that means tomatoes, zucchini, sweet corn, peaches and melons.

In August, we eat with the abandon of plenty: just-picked vegetables raw and cooked, sandwiched and stewed and souped; just-ripe fruit eaten over the sink to catch the juices, or sliver by sliver, all to savor the season’s natural sweetness.

In August, we become "salt and pepper cooks" for freshness requires little seasoning to extract the life within.

In August, no meal, including breakfast, is complete without at least a slice of the perfection that is a summer tomato.

In August, we set aside all-things-chocolate for peach cobbler and blueberry pie and fruity soups. We forgo crème brulee when there are cherries and grapes and apricots and plums.

In August, we … but wait, tell me, what is “August food” for you? What are you eating now? What is essential to August?

What a hearty, meaty salad this is, a real meal versus a light supper. With a few moving parts, it’s a bit of a production but make it once and you’ll make it again almost without thinking, purposefully moving from one step to the next. It makes for a companionable Cooking for Two project but can also be made completely ahead, then assembled at the last minute, just before serving. I’ve made it for two, I’ve made it for ten, it’s that flexible, that good.

ALANNA’s TIPS No beef stock on hand? Build a quick stovetop stock by browning an ounce of the meat, a little onion and garlic in a small skillet, then adding water to deglaze the pan. Other ideas: substitute red wine for beef stock or use the steak’s marinade, just be sure to let boil for 2 – 3 minutes since the marinade contains raw meat juice. The inspiring recipe calls for frisee, escarole or spinach but I’m hooked on the déclassé iceberg! It has a crisp wetness that really works. For cheese, we’ve fallen in love with an aged cheese from Mexico called cotija [pronounced ko-TEE-hah] that is tangy and salty. The best substitute would be crumbled Romano or Parmesan. For the salad to work, it needs to be wet and messy, not perfect and composed, so be sure work the warm vinaigrette into the Tomato Salad. When aesthetics are important, garnish the top with slices of tomato and avocado. This salad works beautifully with leftover grilled steak too.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

GRILLED STEAK with
SUMMER TOMATO SALAD

Hands-on time: 1 hour
Time to table: 1 hour
Serves 4
    GRILLED STEAK
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 pound beef steak – ribeye, skirt steak, any good cut
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    WARM VINAIGRETTE
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped (what is a poblano pepper? how to roast peppers)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 red onion, chopped small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup beef stock (see TIPS)
  • Juice of 4 small limes (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    TOMATO SALAD
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce (see TIPS), sliced thin
  • 1 – 2 large perfect summer tomatoes, chopped (see TIPS)
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese, cotija, Romano or Parmesan (see TIPS)
  • Cooked bacon
    OPTIONAL GARNISH
  • Thin slices of lime
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Corn tortillas, cut into strips and crisped in a little oil in a skillet

GRILLED STEAK In a large flat container, mix the red wine vinegar, Worcestershire and red wine; add the meat and marinate for up to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. (Timing Tip: Make both the Warm Vinaigrette and Tomato Salad before continuing with the meat.) Lift the meat out of the marinade (if you like, save the marinade for the Warm Vinaigrette, see TIPS), season to taste and grill to the desired doneness. On the cross-grain, cut into strips.

WARM VINAIGRETTE While the meat marinates, roast the poblano. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels to use in the Tomato Salad, then sauté the onion and garlic in the remaining bacon grease. Add the beef stock, using a spatula to grab the crispy bits off the bottom (this is called "deglazing’ the pan" and is an essential step for developing flavor). Add the roasted poblano, lime juice and salt and pepper and let simmer until slightly thick. Turn off the heat and let rest until ready to serve. Can be made ahead, just rewarm before tossing into the Tomato Salad.

TOMATO SALAD Meanwhile, in a large bowl, layer the lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese and bacon.

SERVE & SAVOR (Timing Tip: Grill the steak now, before continuing.) If needed, rewarm the vinaigrette, then toss well with the Tomato Salad, wilting the lettuce and wetting the entire mixture. Transfer the salad to individual plates, top with meat slices, garnish as desired. Dig in, devour!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 357 Calories; 16g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 86mg Cholesterol; 258mg Sodium; 18g Carb; 6g Fiber; 8g Sugar; 31g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 8 & WW Points Plus 9.
Inspired by a recipe from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy Product Disclosure

Prepping the Summer Tomato Salad


Grilled Steak Salad with Summer Tomato Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, a true summer feast, sliced steak with a wet, messy salad of tomatoes, avocado and lettuce slightly wilted in a onion-bacon-poblano vinaigrette. Gorgeous! WW9

Don't be tempted to compose a perfect-looking salad directly on the dinner plates, a slice of tomato here, a sliver of avocado there. Instead, combine all the salad ingredients in a big bowl first, then transfer to serving plates. Yes, it's a little wet and messy but it builds the perfect texture and taste.


Salad Suppers with August Produce

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
BLT Pasta Salad Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp Baked Chicken with Fresh Peaches


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





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