The last few days have felt like a bit of a whirlwind, but I'd like to think that this salad has helped keep me grounded. Maybe that sounds silly but I really think comfort food has the ability to soothe the mind as well as nourish the body.
We started looking at houses this week, with no expectations to actually find one we liked. But of course we DID find one we love, very very much. So now my husband and I have been full of anxious nervous energy for the last few days and I'm using food as a way to try to bring us back down to earth.
All the nerve-wracking waiting feels slightly less obvious while I'm chopping apples for applesauce, or stirring a hot pot of soup.
After falling in love with Feisty Chef's Panzanella Salad this summer I couldn't help but let my mind wander into other seasons full of other produce that might be adaptable to this delicious bread salad. I remembered seeing a winter panzanella salad on Smitten Kitchen years ago and decided to just google it and see how the world out there is interpreting it. Well it turned out that Michael Chiarello made a pretty damn good salad that caused a flurry of bloggers to follow suit, including SK and now of course myself.
I made the recipe pretty much as described (in the link above) except that I've recently got into the habit of making croutons whenever I have old bread lying around, so sometimes they're not as cheesy as his but who cares. It makes this salad so much quicker to make that it's worth it for me (I also often have a bag of peeled and diced squash in my fridge just waiting to be used which also makes this salad much more last-minute-lunch friendly).
I also have been adding cooked chopped bacon, but I'm thinking about next time adding some cooked and chopped chorizo sausage.