Best Ever Bread Salad

picture of a bowl of colourful bread salad

Vancouver is hot right now, almost as hot as Ontario but without the humidity. In fact, the humidity is missed (I never though I would say that) because Vancouver is currently blanketed by the smoke of over 150 forest fires; the sky and mountains look they’ve been swallowed by The Nothing from The Never-ending Story. I can’t fathom turning on the stove so my cooking is dependent on what’s in the fridge and what’s in the pantry, which turned out to a half loaf of super stale baguette, grape tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and an arsenal of jarred ingredients of various degrees of piquancy. This bread salad, or panzanella if we’re going to get serious, was for myself alone; it made a huge bowl to be eaten immediately and then a moderate amount to be enjoyed later on that evening with a glass of dry rosé and several episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s crucial for any bread salad to be made of very stale crusty baguette, this prevents the whole thing from collapsing into a soggy mess as soon as the dressing is applied. I know that big red tomatoes, bursting with ripeness and sweetness, would be ideal in this recipe but they’re not quite in season here and grape tomatoes have the most true tomato taste out of what’s available to me right now. Don’t be afraid to use your hands when combining all of the ingredients for the end result, bread salad making is a visceral experience and salad tongs will do little to get you there (besides helping to spread all of the bread cubes onto your floor while you attempt to saturate them in briny goodness). You could omit the chickpeas if you wanted to, I like to add them to really fill the salad out and make it a main course you won’t feel hungry from an hour later.

best ever bread salad:

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup diced cucumber

3 roasted red peppers, preferably the kind from the jar

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp. pickled capers, roughly chopped

5 pepperoncini peppers, drained and roughly chopped (seeds included)

1/2 cup chickpeas

4 tablespoons of fruity olive oil

2 Tbsp. sherry or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Generous handful of torn fresh basil leaves

About half a stale baguette’s worth of bread cubes

Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

1. In a large shallow bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, capers, pepperoncini peppers, and chickpeas.

2. Evenly drizzle the olive oil and sherry or red wine vinegar over the salad before adding the feta and fresh basil.

3. Add the stale bread cubes and combine with the rest of the ingredients using your hands (it’s very frustrating trying to use tongs or salad spoons as per usual, hands are a must). Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, adding plenty of black pepper and tossing once more before serving.

This song is twitchy electronic back and forth layered with cool as water and smooth as silk vocals. The video is intimate yet claustrophobic, bringing you dizzily close to the warmth of the song but also making you aware of your own position as a spectator. I hate to compare FKA twigs aesthetics to Bjork but it’s entirely complimentary and it reminds me of Bjork’s earlier work but with a more lingering and soulful edge.

FKA twigs- Water Me

 

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