This post was originally published here on May 29, 2013. I’ve since updated the photos and text.
It’s my Birthday!
I’m 37 years old today. And apparently, I’m celebrating my most recent successful trip around the sun by re-visiting this recipe for Panzanella Salad with Roasted Garlic. It’s a dish that first appeared here on the blog over 4 year ago. And it’s one that I still love to make and enjoy all Summer long.
So…is this what 37 looks like? Is my choosing to post a sensible salad recipe on my Birthday, instead of a towering three-tiered cake covered with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, indicative of old age? Or maturity? Or senility?
Honestly, I’m not sure. But whatever the reason, I’m OK with it. Because I’m pleased to report that 37 actually feels pretty gosh darn good.
So, let’s chat about this salad. It’s a recreation of a dish that I enjoyed (i.e. devoured) at a tiny Italian restaurant on Orcas Island several years ago, back when I was living in the state Washington. And while I can’t remember everything about that exact dish, their use of whole roasted garlic cloves in the salad is what stood out most in my mind. It’s what made their panzanella salad different from those I had eaten in the past. And it’s a trick that I’ve now adopted at home to help take my panzanella salads over the top.
The rest of this salad is composed of your typical Summer staples: juicy tomatoes (get heirlooms if you can!), fresh basil and tender mixed greens. And of course, we can’t forget about the toasted bread cubes. I mean, it wouldn’t really be a panzanella salad without the bread. I usually buy a loaf of whatever happens to catch my eye at the bakery that week. An Italian Pugliese or French Boule are always sensible choices. But don’t be afraid to play with different types of bread. I’ve learned from past experiments that rye bread can really add an extra punch of flavor. Or try cornbread if you need to make a gluten-free version.
This isn’t one of those salads that you can just toss together in a few minutes. It takes time to roast the garlic and prepare the other ingredients. But it’s totally worth it for those nights when you have a little bit of extra wiggle room in your schedule. Because the layers of flavors here are seriously on point.
The original version of this recipe included some buffalo mozzarella, but I’ve since started enjoying it sans cheese. Skipping the mozzarella makes this recipe vegan (just be sure to check the ingredient label on your bread), which means I get to save my “dairy points” for things like ice cream or strawberry shortcake with fancy whipped cream. Because at 37 years of age, I’m learning that life is all about balance.
This post was originally published here on January 23, 2014. I’ve since updated the photos and text. Enjoy!
Great fitting jeans. A copy of The Catcher in the Rye. And a recipe for The Best Blueberry Muffins.
These are all classics that will never go out of style. And they are all things that everyone should have in their collection.
And while it would be awesome if we could all go clothes shopping together to find some booty-licious pants. Or have a book club meeting to discuss teenage rebellion. Neither of those things seems very practical right now (unless you all want to hop on an airplane!). So instead, I’m going to help you out in the blueberry muffin department.
This blueberry muffin recipe is slightly adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. It’s a recipe that I’ve been making for years now (playing with many different mix-ins along the way), so I know it by heart. It’s my go-to baked good that I’m constantly whipping up for any special breakfast or brunch gathering. Or just whenever my mood requires a little pick-me-up. Because you certainly don’t need a special occasion to make and enjoy these babies. They are wonderful any day of the week. And any month out of the year, too. Classics like blueberry muffins are season-less, in my humble opinion (although being able to use local blueberries during the Summer months is a real treat!).
And you know what’s even better? This recipe requires only one mixing bowl and 10 ingredients.
A few notes on the recipe that are worth mentioning up front. First, the batter is extremely thick. Like whoa. Probably way thicker than other muffin recipes you’ve made in the past. Second, the muffins cups get filled all the way to the brim. But don’t worry. They won’t spill over. And finally, 2 ½ cups of fresh blueberries will seem like way too many blueberries than will reasonably fit in a muffin without resulting in an exploding blue mess. But just trust me when I say it’s all going to be fine. You got this! And I bet these blueberry muffins will soon become a favorite in your house, too!