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Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

I’m not sure there is a better summer salad than this gorgeous and light panzanella. You can use any tomato and you can even Sandra Lee it up and use croutons from the store. I had a loaf of cheddar & garlic bread to use… but my friends ate most of the croutons before I assembled the salad. So I mixed in the store bought ones. Just as good.


  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped roughly
  • 3 cups of baby herb salad blend or arugula
  • Croutons, recipe follows (or use store bought)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan


For the croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and preheat a cookie sheet in it.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese.

Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

For the salad: Lightly salt the tomatoes & cucumbers and drain in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the croutons & dressing (or let sit 15 minutes).

For the dressing, whisk together vinegars, salt, pepper, garlic & olive oil. Set aside.

In a bowl combine the tomatoes, arugula, onion, basil, salt, and pepper and dressing. Add the croutons and toss well. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Serve immediately.

Mustard and Herb Crusted Salmon

I do love a cold Sunday morning sipping hot coffee and planning a delicious Sunday dinner… that will take a good part of my day to prepare.

Yes, I love those meals that take entirely too long to chop all the veg, dirty up all the pots in the kitchen and ultimately fill my house with an aroma I won’t get from a 30 minute meal.

Those days are more plentiful recently, but some meals are meant to be simple. Like fish. This Mustard and Herb Crusted Salmon is so simple but tastes like a million bucks in less than 10 minutes.

The cooking method requires only broiling but make sure to use the middle oven rack. I had rosemary & thyme still growing but use any herb you have on hand and if you don’t have fresh, by all means use dried (just use 1/2 the amount as dried is more potent than fresh).


  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the broiler.

In a small bowl combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, oil, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, honey and lemon juice.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray or drizzle a little olive oil. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.