Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sunday Picnic Panzanella

On Sunday, we decided to be savvy Beltway insiders and see the azaleas at the National Arboretum.

I wanted something quick and savory to picnic lazily under the Grove of State Trees. So I packed a couple of oranges, a thermos full of iced tea, a little chocolate, and a quick bread salad.

Bread salad, or panzanella, is a staple of every cuisine that has stale bread, and comes together quickly and beautifully. I like to add beans for a little earthy protein, but that's not a super-traditional way to do it.

Planning ahead, I had a half a loaf of ciabatta that was just stale, and I chopped that into cubes.

I tossed these with a can of canellini beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a half cup of chopped kalamata olives and a big handful of chopped parsley.

When the salad was mixed, I dressed it with a glug of olive oil and plenty of cracked pepper. A little salt, a little oregano (because I would put oregano on basically all foods), some chili flakes, and it went into the cooler bag to chill.

I think it turned out molto bene, but we may have just been in a good mood because of the azaleas.

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