Tag Archives: balsamic

Summer Panzanella Salad

My Mom and I first had a Panzanella salad a few years ago. It was at an event that took place in the middle of the summer, on a ranch, outside. It was hot and fairly miserable. The thought of eating anything hot was not appetizing at all. This beautiful salad was served before the main course, it was cool, flavorful and downright pretty. We quickly ran home, lurked up a recipe and this has been a staple in our world since. I noticed some recipes don’t include the mozzarella balls, and that is a big mistake. Those little marinaded cheese balls make this salad. It’s my favorite part. And using good balsamic is a must too, something about the sweetness of it really compliments this dish. If you don’t have zucchini, a cucumber can be used instead and you don’t have to grill it.

Sigh, it's so good.

Sigh, it’s so good.

Panzanella Salad

  • 1/2 loaf’s worth of good crusty bread made into croutons (recipe here)
  • 1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini, treated for moisture and lightly grilled (I’ll cover this later)
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 container (who am I kidding? Use two, it’s the best part!) marinaded mozzarella balls
  • 20 to 25 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/3 cup oil reserved from marinaded mozzarella (or you can use olive oil)
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
See the moisture on the top of the zucchini? This step really does make a difference.

See the moisture on the top of the zucchini? This step really does make a difference.

Slice zucchini into rounds and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, the salt will draw out some of the moisture. Do that for each side of your sliced zucchini. Blotting with towels remove excess salt. I like to grill my zucchini for about 3 minutes on each side or until I get nice grill marks. Cool, and cut into bite sized pieces.

I love this salad because I get to use almost everything from my yarden!

I love this salad because I get to use almost everything from my yarden!

Combine the first 6 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Toss to mix. In a separate bowl mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mustard. Mix well. Pour the vinaigrette over the rest of the salad.

Let chill for 30 minutes before serving.





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Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Garden, Recipe, Uncategorized

Cross Rib Roast

  • 3-5 pound cross rib roast
  • Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons fine dried herbs (Rosemary, paprika, parsley etc)

I make a mixture of herbs, pepper, salt and balsamic vinegar. Peel a head of garlic.

Using a sharp knife point from a paring or a boning knife make several slits in the top of the meat. Tuck slivers or whole pieces of garlic into each slit.

Coat with your spice/vinegar mixture, drizzle with a little olive oil.  Notice I cook my roast in my cast iron frying pan, that way when I make gravy later it’s easy!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Calculate cooking time, using 20 minutes per pound of meat as a guide for a cross rib roast. Place roast in oven, TURN THE TEMPERATURE DOWN to 350 degrees and roast for the calculated time, checking with an instant meat thermometer after 3/4 of the cooking time just to make sure things are going ok. The thermometer should register about 140 (rare) to 155 degrees (medium). Remove from oven.

Look how pretty!

Pull your roast from the oven and tent with foil for about 20 minutes so the meat can rest and the juices can re-absorb.

Slice the meat and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy. This is seriously one of my death row foods, the leftovers are even still breathtaking!


Filed under Ag, agriculture, Beef, food, Know a California Farmer, meat, photos, Ranch life, Recipe