In the "Tea Time" blog I shared my secret (or not so secret) obsession with afternoon tea and the delightful little finger sandwiches that have become part of that tradition. The question that always bothers me though is, "What to do with the leftover crusts"? Well, after catching part of a cooking show one afternoon, I was struck by a stroke of genius. Panzanella, a rural Italian dish that transforms day old bread (or leftover crusts) from bland to beautiful.
Ingredients:2-3 tablespoons good olive oil
3-4 cups of day old bread, cubed
1 large, ripe tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled, diced
1/2 red onion diced
5 large basil leaves shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp minced garlic
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
About 1 tbsp Vinegar (use your favorite, I use Basil)
Combine the bread, seasonings (including the basil and zest) and vegetables and mix well, add the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil and mix well again then serve.
Simple and sumptuous this is a great way to reduce kitchen waste and treat your friends and family to a light but filling summer salad.