Before I tell you about how delicious this peach panzanella salad is, I wanted to explain why my corner of the internet has been quiet lately. It certainly hasn’t been for lack of inspiration: as summer hits, a slew of new recipe ideas keep popping into my head. No, it’s been quiet here lately because of a job hunt, apartment hunt and cross-country mover hunt. I’m excited to announce that my husband has accepted a job in San Francisco – his dream job at his dream company, no less – and we are moving out next week!
As we navigate our way through a cross-country move, the days are becoming a blur and so are my emotions. I’m feeling excited but a little nervous, happy but definitely a bit sad. I’ve been a Chicagoland resident since the age of three, staying here for college and living in the city since then. But out of all the other cities in America, San Francisco feels the most like a second home to me. Surrounded by family on both my side and my husband’s side, plus one of my best friends from childhood, I know we’ll immediately find comfort in our new city. Chicago will always hold my heart (Chicago in the summer, that is), but I can’t wait to see what adventures our new home holds for us.
So please forgive me on the sporadic posts for the next few weeks. We’ll be making the 30-hour drive with our two cats, settling into our new apartment, and doing all those fun grown-up things like going to the DMV. I’ll try to squeeze in posts whenever I can, but I can’t promise that they’ll be the fanciest meals you’ve ever come across.
Onto this peach panzanella. Summer is in full force in Chicago, and this salad epitomizes everything I love about the season. It’s by no means a traditional panzanella, but it’s got some delicious homemade croutons that become ever so slightly soft from the sweet juice of the peaches and the tangy honey mustard dressing. Toasted pecans add some crunch and dried cherries provide some tart chewiness, and the end result really hits you with such an amazing variety of flavors. So throw it together on one of these endless evenings, a glass of crisp white wine in hand, and celebrate the fleeting sweetness of summer. I promise you’ll love it.
- Fresh bakery bread of choice, cut into bite-size cubes (about 2 cups)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Bag of butter and red leaf lettuce, or another lettuce of choice
- ⅓ cup toasted pecans
- ⅓ cup dried cherries
- 2 ripe peaches, sliced
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil and spread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake about 15 minutes, flipping the croutons halfway through. Croutons should be crisp but not overly hard.
- In the meantime, assemble the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl, whisking all of the ingredients together and adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the croutons are ready, add directly to the salad. Toss all of the ingredients lightly and add about half the dressing. If you need more, add little by little. Serve immediately.