I'm not usually stumped when The ReDux theme rolls around, but this month's topic almost did me in.
When I found out we were opting to ReDux "memorable vacation meals", I realized two sad facts:
1) We don't take near enough vacations.
2) When we do vacay, we usually have our kids with us and that's not always conducive to the type of dining I enjoy most.
And then I remembered that last fall just before attending a conference in San Diego, my husband and I took a few days to fly in early to San Francisco and drive down the California coast. We'd spent our honeymoon in California twelve years earlier, but these two trips really sum up most of our "vacation" travels as a married couple.
While we ate some amazing meals all along the route, one informal lunch stop stood out. Not expecting much more than soup and a sandwich, I ended up with THE best bowl of panzanella I'd ever eaten. Light on the bread and heavy on the peppers, it was crisp & sweet and bathed in just the right amount of a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Even with all the travel that I do beyond vacations, that lunch still stands out as one of the best dishes I can recall in recent years. Maybe because of its simplicity and use of amazingly fresh vegetables? Whatever the recipe, I thought it worthy of sharing here for The ReDux. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed. (And be sure to check out below what other ReDux members are sharing this month).
Sweet Pepper Panzanella
Ingredients (serves 2 to 4)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch piece
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 cup loosely packed Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
- 3 cups toasted bread cubes
Toss all ingredients (except bread cubes) and let stand at least 30 minutes. Just before serving toss in bread cubes.