Wow, this is the first time I've had to write two blog posts in one day! I knew it would have to happen eventually. I had both my Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Club post to do, as well as my regular Thursday Craving Ellie in My Belly post. Phew! Fortunately, this is the kind of busy that I like to be! Having to do some extra time in the kitchen is not a problem for me.
Now, onto this week's CEIMB recipe! This week's pick was Panzanella with Chicken Sausage from Ellie's So Easy book, chosen by Peggy of Pantry Revisited. I was glad she picked this one, because panzanella is something that has always intrigued me. I'd never made it, and never eaten it until now. I love salad, and I love bread, but for some reason the idea of an actual bread salad always seemed too bizarre to me.
As it turns out, I love bread salad! In fact, we all did here at my house. My hubby and I scarfed this down, and even my picky 4 year-old thought the idea of bread in his salad was pretty cool. I used some chicken sausages from Sam's Club (and hey, by the way, I'm kinda mad at Sam's Club right now. After I got the sausage home, I removed the outer cardboard liner and discovered that it had an expiration date of May 24th! We had to return it, and buy some more, and it turned out that almost every single package in their store was past date! We found one of maybe 2 or 3 packs that were good. Argh! And don't even get me started on the Sam's Club bleach stain incident of 2 weeks ago....).
Anyway, the sausages ended up being pretty tasty! They were provolone and sun-dried tomato flavor, and I did enjoy them in the end. As for the salad, I really was surprised at how much I loved it.
I've talked several times before in various blog posts about how I have come to love roasted or burst tomatoes, but haven't yet been able to fully embrace tomatoes in their raw form. So, I made my salad with burst cherry tomatoes, and I made the rest of the salad with regular cherry tomatoes. I think it worked out well. The dressing was simple but so good, and I used half a loaf of roasted garlic fougasse (which I haven't figured out how to pronounce, but it sure is good!) bread I found at the grocery store. I loved how the bread did soak up the other flavors in the salad, but it was a nice sturdy bread that held up well to the dressing and did not get soggy or mushy at all.
So once again, Ellie Krieger has made a believer out of me! She has proven that if I merely try something I've been skeptical about, chances are I will like it very much. This one exceeded my expectations. Thank you, Peggy, for taking me out of my comfort zone! The recipe for this one can be found here, on her blog.