Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Asparagus Bread Salad

I've been recently obsessed with the idea of making an asparagus bread salad. My childhood self shudders at that. I never did like asparagus growing up, and when I first made bread salad I was terrified that the bread would come out mushy. Ew. Mushy is not something I do very well. But last year I braved the panzanella and made a tomato bread salad that was absolutely heavenly. The bread was not mushy, it was just like eating giant croutons. Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner? A salad with just the best part and no boring lettuce? This is something I can get behind. Anyway, for the past 24 hours I have been searching the Food Network and Epicurious in hopes of uncovering inspiration for my dream. I had nearly given up, when I turned to SmittenKitchen and discovered Spring Panzanella. I do not have nearly half the ingredients for that recipe, so below find a merged version, part Smitten, part Gourmet and all yummy goodness.

adapted from SmittenKitchen and Gourmet

1 medium bunch of asparagus, small stalks if possible
1 cup chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced and separated
6 C cubed good quality bread, stale is preferred
6 T parmigiano reggiano grated
1/2 red onion diced (or minced, I like mine fine)
1/4 c olive oil for bread
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil for dressing
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice (approximately half a lemon)
1/2 t dijon mustard
1 T capers (optional)
salt and pepper

Bread - Preheat the oven to 400F. Cube the bread into large chunks. Mix together the olive oil, parm, one of the garlic cloves and salt and pepper. Put on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove.
Vegetables - Fill a shallow pot with water and allow to boil. Trim asparagus, chop off the bottom 1/3 of the stalk and discard, if your stalks are very thick, you can use a veggie peeler to peel them a bit. Then cut the rest of the spears into about 1 inch long segments. When water is boiling, toss in asparagus and cook for 3 minutes, then drain and set aside. In a medium pan, add a splash of olive oil and the remaining minced clove of garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for just a minute or two until warm but not mushy. Dressing - Mix together the lemon juice, vinegar and the diced red onion. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then add the 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil and the dijon. Mix well.

Combine the bread, vegetables, capers and dressing in a large bowl and mix well. Allow some time for the dressing to soak into the bread salad, maybe about 5 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Boston Baked Scrod

Boston Baked Scrod is an old-school Boston favorite, like Parker House Rolls or Jordan's Blueberry Muffins. There are many recipes, but this one is my Nana's and is one of my family's top requested dishes when we go to visit her.

Scrod itself is a bit of a mystery. Google it, and you'll find all sorts of dissenting opinions on what kind of fish it really is. If you're willing to take my word for it, it's probably young cod, but might be young haddock. You can ask your fishmonger. But if you're outside of New England, he might look at you like you have two heads for even suggesting that scrod be something other than cod.
As far as this recipe goes, it doesn't matter what the devil scrod is. And yes, you can use haddock.


1 lb scrod or haddock
2-3 T butter
1 T dried thyme
1 T dried oregano
2 t garlic powder
1 T lemon juice
1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers.


Crush Ritz crackers in a bowl to create crumbs. Combine cracker crumbs, with thyme, oregano and garlic powder. Line a baking dish with foil. Butter the bottom a bit so the fish doesn't stick. Add the fish. Drizzle the fish with the lemon juice and the melted butter. Press the crumb mixture down on top of the fish. Preheat the toaster oven to 400F. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.


Related Posts with Thumbnails