Monday, August 20, 2012

My New Kitchen and a Panzanella Salad

I'm feeling a little delinquent.

Two weeks, no posts, and it's summer vacation after all.

Even worse, and I'm almost embarrassed to confess it, I've barely been in the kitchen. Unlike last summer, where I used the time to try out new recipes and get a head start on some September blog posts, there's been very little activity.

I've got a good excuse though--my new apartment!

My own apartment.

Where I've had no hot water or gas for cooking. For a week.

And no internet. Having no internet makes blogging really hard.

My first cooking project in my kitchen was this super simple panzanella salad, prepared long before my gas was turned on.

It couldn't be easier. It's a bit ridiculous to even post a recipe. But it's light and healthy, and it makes fantastic use of the abundance of produce that's crowding stands at the farmers' market.

Eating my first meal (that wasn't microwaved) in my new apartment felt just like I wanted it to: relaxing. I could take my time in the kitchen. Then, I could linger at the dinner table for just as long as I wanted, podcast on, without feeling a need to rush so I didn't inconvenience anyone. Just perfect.

Note: Kitchen pictures are coming soon, once the kitchen looks a bit cuter! For now, let's just note that there's room for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on the counter, my dishes in the cabinets, and my cookbooks!

Super Simple Panzanella Salad

Note: This salad has no set serving size. It all depends on how many veggies you include. If you don't plan to eat it all in one sitting, leave the croutons out, adding them only to the salad you're eating that day.

Fresh veggies, diced (I used 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 bell pepper and 1 cucumber)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread (for croutons)

Dice your veggies, and place them in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir well. Allow the veggies to sit for at least 30 minutes, tossing regularly. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

While the veggies sit, prepare your croutons. Slice bread into your desired crouton shape, and place directly on a baking sheet (no oil needed!). Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, checking regularly, until the croutons are toasted.

Sprinkle the croutons over the chopped veggies, and toss well. Enjoy!


  1. Congratulations on your new place - can't wait to see the pictures of your kitchen! Panzanella is one of my favorite summer salads. It's just so fresh and really lets the flavor of the vegetables shine. What a perfectly delicious first (non-microwaved) dinner!

    1. Thank you! The more time I spend with cleaning supplies, the more I find myself wanting a fresh, chemical-free meal. I'll post photos soon!

  2. Can't wait to eat a meal in your new apartment! This salad is perfect for using up all those veggies I bought from the farmers market!

    1. Equally excited to have you over for dinner! It's the perfect time of year to go a bit crazy in the farmers' market!