“Panzanella Agli Ortaggi in Agrodolce” from “Two Greedy Italians”

Otherwise known as Sweet and Sour Bread Salad.

Maureen: I can’t believe we’re not at the state dinner with the Obamas at Buckingham Palace. Instead we’re eating this.

Tim: Frankly, it’s an outrage.

Maureen: You’d think they would select some good Americans living in London– like us!– to attend. Instead, who makes the cut? Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson. How is that fair? So we’re not having Windsor lamb with basil. We’re having panzanella with a difference. What do you think?

Tim: I like it.

Maureen: Really? I’m surprised. Do you remember the last time I made panzanella? It was a Jamie Oliver recipe, out of his Italy book, and he said it would be a quick and easy dinner. Instead we ended up eating in the dark on the patio at 11 p.m. Not a triumph.

Tim: This is different because it’s just sauteed vegetables. It’s very nice.

Maureen: Traditional panzanella uses tomatoes, which I think I like a little better. But since you don’t like tomatoes, I can see why you’d like this one more. This one has all manner of vegetables in it: two kinds of peppers, celery, carrots, aubergine and courgette.

Tim: You’re right. I do like this one better than the tomato one.

Maureen: (Picking up the cookbook and looking at the picture of it) I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look like the picture. There’s some beautiful knife work in that picture. Look at those julienne strips! I can’t do them that thin.

Tim: They might have used a mandoline or something. I do think there’s slightly too much olive oil.

Maureen: I agree. It’s nice to have extra, to soften the bread, but I think there’s too much extra this time. Also, this recipe is supposed to serve four, and we ate it all.

Tim: (Looking at the book) Well, it is an antipasta. So maybe it should say, “Serves four as a starter, two as a main meal.”

Maureen: This has been a great month so far with these recipes.

Tim: We knew it would be, and it has.

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“Panzanella Agli Ortaggi in Agrodolce” from “Two Greedy Italians”

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