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Random Recipe Challenge: Panzanella [Italian Bread and Tomato Salad]

October 27, 2011

Now show me yours...

Dom, over at Belleau Kitchen runs a monthly Random Recipe Challenge. The idea is to make use of those cookbooks that lie under a layer of dust, or those recipes that you always flick past and think “maybe next time” by being forced to make a recipe picked at random. I have wanted to get involved for a while to force me to cook things other than cake and biscuits and while this didn’t involve much cooking it did remind me that sometimes, simple is delicious.

This month it was called “I’ll show you mine….” Bloggers were paired off by using a random number generator. I’d not taken part before, so I put out a plaintive plea on Twitter for a willing partner and to my delight Scrumptious Sal aka Sarah (@scrumptioussal) replied. We had to follow these rules:

1. Count your cookbooks and assign each a number. Your partner will then chose a number.
2. Tell your partner how many pages the book has. They will now chose a page
3. You must cook the dish on that page. No cheating!

Resulting in…

Panzanella from Antony Worrall Thompson’s G.I Diet cookbook for me (don’t judge me – It has some really good stews in it)
Pulla Bread from the Nordic Bakery for Sarah. I will of course link to her post once she has delivered the goods!

Look…. I can even prove that we didn’t cheat..

A Recipe Swap Conversation

It’s not really cooking, so I feel a teeny bit cheeky posting a recipe, but I have tried to make it more legitimate by making the granary bread myself.


2 Thick slices of day-old whole-grain bread
6 ripe tomatoes, cubed
1 small red onion, finely diced (I left this out as a I don’t like raw onion)
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful of basil leaves, ripped into small pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Ground black pepper

Cut or tear the bread into small pieces, sprinkle with water so it is moist but not soggy
Add the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, celery, garlic and basil and mix gently
Mix together the oil and vinegar and season with black pepper. Shake it together well and then pour over the salad
Leave for 30mins for the flavours to develop

Eat, and be surprised at how nice a soggy-bread salad can be!

Panzanella, as interpreted by A.W.T

Panzanella, as interpreted by A.W.T

Here’s the full list of pairings, and you can read the round-up here

Belleau Kitchen and What Kate Baked

Lou (Please Don’t Feed the Animals) and Brownieville Girl

Steve (Please Don’t Feed the Animals) and Cake, Crumbs and Cooking

Exploit of a Food Nut and The KitchenMaid

Fuss Free Flavours and Baking Obsessively

Spontaneous Euphoria and Cooking Manu

Lavender and Lovage and Makey Cakey

Me, My Food and I and 21st Century Urban Housewife

Baking in Franglais and Dear Love Blog

Little Macaroon and Sharky Oven Gloves

What I Baked this Weekend and Chocolate Log Blog

Vanilla Frost and As Strong As Soup

Chocolate Teapot and Mummy, I Can Cook

Farmersgirl Kitchen and Italian Inspiration

Food, Football and a Baby and 41 Feasts

The Spice Garden and Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2011 9:33 pm

    Wow. What an excellent post… and all that detail about the challenge. You’re a sweetheart. Do you know I’ve never eaten panzanella. It does look very good but I know what you mean about not cooking. Anyway. Looks wonderful. Thanks do much for making the effort to find a partner and taking part. Lovely to have you on board xx

  2. October 27, 2011 10:00 pm

    I love Panzanella and great job making your own bread. How lovely of you to post the whole list of participants, I never thought to do that on my blog. Isn’t Random Recipes just the best challenge? Looking forward to the round up.

  3. October 27, 2011 10:24 pm

    Mmmmmm. You know what? I would really love some of that salad just now. Would be a lovely refreshing change from all the soups and stews and warming dishes. I think I have also been rather overdoing the cake eating recently so this panzanella is really speaking to me.
    And well done making your own bread! That’s fab!
    And for having the patience to link to all the blogs – that’s dedication. 😀
    Glad to have you join us. Looking forward to seeing what you get for next month!

  4. October 31, 2011 11:25 pm

    Good cheating avoidance. It may not be really cooking but I really enjoy recipes that are almost non-recipes – they remind me that simple is usually best. I can’t make this myself, though, because my wife screams and throws various household objects at the very thought of soggy bread.


  1. Random Recipe Challenge: Panzanella [Italian Bread and Tomato … | Salat rezepte.

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