a midsummer cherry & amaranth panzanella salad + a giveaway!


we're getting ready to hit the road again.  we're packing the car up along with the pup (!!!) and heading south to frank's fam, and my fam-in-law's, to celebrate my mother-in-laws bday (lots of laws there)!  my head is a little spin-y from back-to-back trips, but i am NOT complaining, these are the times i cherish - days spent with our family, chats, hugs, and an all around good time!  

today i'm teaming up with whole foods to bring you a whole foods giveaway (more on that later!) and cherries!  cherries are totally in their prime right now (and on a serious sale at my local whole foods this week!) and at their sweetest - fruit really isn't the same when it's super fresh and in season.   but, since returning from last week's vacation, i've been in somewhat of a food coma and needed to power through the next couple of days with something light and fresh.  naturally, salad. but in this case a bread-y one.  most panzanella salads i love to eat are often drizzled with good olive oil, really good balsamic,  with a couple of grinds and pinches of salt + pepper - easy breezy, y'all.  since i wanted to add cherries to the mix, i didn't think the addition of balsamic was necessary, and therefore went with a simple cider vinegar vinaigrette to balance it all out.  i also added some greens because while at the market i spotted a big pile of their fancy green leaves shot with purple veins and couldn't leave without them.

now! on to the giveaway!  i've been such a fan of whole foods for years, so when the opportunity to give away a $50 whole foods gift card came a' knockin' i couldn't refuse the chance to reward one of my lovely readers!

so, to enter a chance at winning, please leave a comment below telling me about your favorite summer dinner and drink (or cocktail!), (personally, mine is a summer ratatouille [all the veggies!] with a super chilled glass of rosé, i could equally go for a crisp, cool beer too though).  the contest ends next tuesday, july 22nd at 6pm, and will only be open to US or Canadian residents (sorry overseas dudes). good luck y'all! xo



a midsummer cherry & amaranth panzanella salad

| serves 4 |

if you can't find amaranth, any green will do here. but if you want a similar taste, i would go with arugula or another bitter green.  

ingredients

  • 8 ounces fresh cherries (bing, rainier, or another sweet cherry)
  • 2 bunches amaranth leaves (approx. 2 lightly packed cups)
  • 4-5 slices of gluten-free bread (or bread of choice)
  • 3 medium ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • fine ground sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste 


instructions

  • remove pits and halve cherries; set aside for later.  wash and pat dry amaranth and basil leaves, slice both thin, or roughly chop; set aside.  
  • slice tomatoes away from core and cut into chunks; carefully, place tomato chunks, and a few pinches of salt, into a strainer over a bowl and let tomato juice drain; reserve the juice for later
  • preheat your broiler (if you have access to one, this step can also be done on a grill) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  place pieces of bread flat on baking sheet, rub garlic cloves over the bread and crust, brush with olive oil and season with salt.  toast bread under broiler until crisp and brown - about 1-2 minutes on each side; let bread cool (if grilling bread, follow the same steps).  in a large serving bowl, tear bread into pieces and stir in the reserved tomato juice to soften
  • add cherries, amaranth, basil, tomatoes and onion to the bread and give it a good toss.  in a small bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  drizzle onto salad, taste and adjust if necessary; serve immediately :)

enjoy!