Summer Panzanella

Summer is here…..summer is here…..or so the calender tells me! I am choosing to believe that the sun is outside and it is shinning down on us and there is just a slight breeze. When summer is here I really do not like to heat up the oven for very long. Finding meals that can be made with barely turning on the oven is a way to keep the house cool. We look for those meals that don’t heat up the house during the summer.

Relying on fresh food is the premise of The Moosewood Restaurant. You will not find bottled sauces or mixes between the pages of this cookbook. Most of the recipes are fresh and fast and mostly vegetarian. If you are a vegan, there are recipes with eggs, cheese and fish, but for the vegetarian this will become a favorite cookbook.

The Ruling: We liked it….the youngest one ate the bread.  The middle one didn’t eat any of it….but the other 3 of us did like it. I can imagine making this in the prime of tomato season. I like to grow heirloom tomatoes that I find at my local greenhouse. I find such cool types of tomatoes to grow and I get excited dreaming of making this salad with those tomatoes. The recipe does not specify what kind of olives to use, I would use Greek olives the next time as we just used plain black olives.

Summer Panzanella, page 108


  • ½ loaf of crusty French or Italian bread (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (about 5 ounces)
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Versatile vinaigrette (page 222) (optional) (added below)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the bread in half lengthwise and place in the oven until crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and place them in a serving bowl.  Cut the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups of tomatoes and 1 cup of mozzarella), peel and thinly slice the red onion, cut the basil leaves into thin strips and chop the olives.  Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl and toss well.
  3. Cut the toasted bread into 1 inch cubes (7 to 8 cups).  Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss well.  Let the salad sit for at least      0 minutes before serving, to allow the bread to soak up some of the juices.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pass vinaigrette at the table if you like.

Versatile Vinaigrette, page 108


  • 1/3 cup vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil (extra-virgin is nice)


  1. Either whisk together all of the ingredients or whirl them in a blender for a few seconds.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

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