Monday, September 24, 2018
Cooking

Put old bread to good use in a Peach and Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

It was a pilgrimage I had long wanted to make, but the timing was never right: Saturday mornings at Born and Bread Bakehouse in Lakeland.

I had tried Born and Breadís bread once before, slathered in some house-made ricotta cheese that sent me on a ricotta toast kick for a while. But I had never made the journey to wait in line at the bakehouse, 1113 S Florida Ave., between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon on a Saturday.

Itís the only time Jenn Smurr, the owner and baking brains behind the company, opens the doors to the public. The rest of the week is spent perfecting sourdough loaves and croissant dough. And they donít just do bread: There are biscuits and chocolate croissants, cruffins and brioche.

But Lakeland is a solid hour from my house, and I could never work it in. Until an early morning drive from Tampa Bay to Orlando put me square in Born and Bread territory around 9 a.m. one recent Saturday.

I pulled up along Florida Avenue and found a spot in the small parking lot next to the bakery, which recently expanded into the space next door, so itís now home to a large kitchen on one side and a rustic/chic seating area on the other, the words American Dream hanging in neon red lights on one wall.

The line of hungry bread lovers waiting to get in extended out the doors and down the sidewalk, but it wasnít until I was 30 minutes into my wait that I realized just how long the line was going to be.

Some people were regulars; others like the family in front of me were first-timers, clearly very excited to be here after hearing so much buzz.

I waited for an hour, the hot sun beating down on us as we approached the doors, and the long list of items available that morning, written on a scroll of brown paper and affixed to a baking rack.

Once inside, I was almost too distracted by the dozens of pastries and other sweets, one of each laid out in a display case, their names handwritten in front of them, to remember to grab a loaf of bread. But soon, I was walking out with a hefty bag of pastries and a large loaf of multigrain.

Born and Breadís specialty is these loaves, which are made from a dough that has been carefully cultivated and nurtured over time to let bacteria develop naturally and create the yeast that makes bread rise.

I ate some as soon as I got home, then sliced half of the rest and froze those slices, using them here and there for avocado toast and such. The other half went in the freezer too, and I took it out this week to serve as the base for a panzanella salad.

Panzanella is an Italian dish typically composed of day-old bread, tomatoes, herbs and a simple dressing. Itís a smart way to use up bread thatís about to go bad because the juice from the tomatoes and dressing gets soaked up, reinvigorating your bread a bit.

You donít need a super high-quality bread for this recipe, which is kind of the beauty of it. But it certainly helps. I figured the nutty, yeasty flavor of the multigrain bread and the toothsome texture would pair nicely with my other salad ingredients, mainly tomatoes and fresh herbs. Plus, since itís summer, peaches. And cucumber and pine nuts for crunch.

It was a fine way to put to use the last remnants of my bread journey.

Peach and Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

1 loaf of your favorite bread, preferably a day or two old

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 medium peaches, quartered, pits removed

3 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced and gently deseeded

1 medium cucumber, cut into Ĺ-inch cubes

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed

ľ cup pine nuts, or walnuts

Handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Arugula, for serving, optional

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes, and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat bread.

Cook peaches in a cast-iron skillet heated over medium-high heat, or on a grill, for about 5 minutes until peaches are browned and sort of charred. Remove from heat and set aside.

To the bowl with the bread, add tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, pine nuts and herbs. Toss well.

Make the dressing: Whisk together the minced shallot, mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Put on a lid and shake or whisk to combine.

Once peaches are cooled, add to bowl with bread mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and gently toss once again to coat all ingredients.

Let salad sit 10 minutes or so for the flavors to mingle. Serve as is or over a bed of arugula for a more salad-y feel.

Serves 2 to 4.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

Comments
Five ideas for date-night dinners at home

Five ideas for date-night dinners at home

For your next date night with your significant other, try staying in and cooking together. Meals eaten with your loved one are always sweeter. Literally."When we are in love Ö food tastes better," said Rachel Herz, an adjunct professor of psychiatry ...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Pumpkin spice haters, back off: It’s okay to crave the seasonal flavor

Pumpkin spice haters, back off: It’s okay to crave the seasonal flavor

All right, okay, enough, I get it: You all hate pumpkin spice. But I’ve got one request as we head into fall: Can you just let us have this? There are many things on which to heap anger and despair right now, but please, that thing does not n...
Published: 09/18/18
A brown rice salad with asparagus thatís a hearty side dish

A brown rice salad with asparagus thatís a hearty side dish

This fresh, hearty side dish will stand out among its richer, creamier counterparts when the holidays roll around. We achieved perfectly cooked brown rice by boiling it in abundant water. Sprinkling the rice with bright lemon juice while it was still...
Published: 09/18/18
Taste test: Frozen Italian meatballs

Taste test: Frozen Italian meatballs

In keeping with our objective of trying to make family meals a little easier this back-to-school season, our judges figured premade meatballs could serve as a basis for a variety of meals. This week, we sampled 10 brands of frozen Italian meatballs f...
Published: 09/17/18
How to be a good host: 7 tips to follow for casual and fancy dinners alike

How to be a good host: 7 tips to follow for casual and fancy dinners alike

A couple of hours into my first time hosting a full-fledged family Thanksgiving, I completely lost it. Elbows deep in the oven, I was trying to rescue a sheet pan that had fallen off the back of the rack and threatened to ruin the entire meal. There ...
Published: 09/13/18
From the food editor: This citrus chopped salad needs a good, homemade vinaigrette

From the food editor: This citrus chopped salad needs a good, homemade vinaigrette

The emulsion was almost complete. Rice wine vinegar, check. A couple of glugs of nutty olive oil, check. Some honey, a dash of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Just one ingredient left to go, and it was a crucial one. Sesame oil. It would offer the unique...
Published: 09/11/18
Pan-fried sole is a light, delicate dish when paired with lemon-caper pan sauce

Pan-fried sole is a light, delicate dish when paired with lemon-caper pan sauce

By AMERICAíS TEST KITCHENSole piccata, a light and delicate dish that consists of lightly browned sole fillets bathed in a lemon, caper and white wine-laced pan sauce, is a classic for a reason: The fresh, bright acidity of the sauce wakes up the fla...
Published: 09/11/18
Taste test: New peanut butter snacks

Taste test: New peanut butter snacks

Since many of us are reaching for portable snacks to pack in school lunch boxes, our tasters thought this would be a good week to give some of the new snacks a try. We picked four peanut butter-flavored snacks, figuring parents and teachers would hav...
Published: 09/10/18
Taste test: New yogurts

Taste test: New yogurts

Yogurt is a reliable option for breakfast, snack time, lunch, dinner and even dessert. We eat it for breakfast with granola. Itís a great afternoon snack or a lunchbox staple. For dinner, we use it to enhance a number of recipes from casseroles to ov...
Updated: 4 hours ago
From the food editor: These Orange Ricotta Bars make for a light, easy dessert

From the food editor: These Orange Ricotta Bars make for a light, easy dessert

It was one of those serene kitchen days when everything just kind of works out. My husband and I were home on a Sunday, tending to our new puppy (!) as storm clouds gathered outside, and I set out to prep for dinner. Two of our friends were coming o...
Updated one month ago