First Tomato Panzanella with Burrata

This funny thing is happening with my blog. I keep finding myself overloaded with recipes and underloaded (?) with words.

By that I mean, ingredients are pouring out of my fields, inspiration is free flowing, and I have so many tasty things I’m cooking up that I want to share. I want to get them posted as quickly as possible so you can relish these delicious seasons just as quickly as we do. But also, our daily life feels exhausting sometimes and though I love this farming journey so freaking much, I don’t always have the energy to share it with you.

Writing out the emotional complexities of running a farm with my life partner in a climate changing world full of erratic weather is just not something I can do every single week despite my best efforts. I know I could find the words if I really buckled down and tried, but it would wind up taking so long that then you’d keep missing out on loads of recipes and that just feels silly. Because isn’t that the goal of this lovely space after all? To keep you informed about farming sometimes and keep you well-fed always?

So I guess what I’m saying is: the time has come for me to focus a bit more on food and a little less on talking.

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I’ll certainly still pop in from time to time to tell you about the first cherry tomato harvest (it happened today!!!!!!– one perfect pint picked after the end of a lovely day harvesting carrots and the first of the garlic with our crew), to discuss all the things I’m learning about love out here in the fields, and to explain how our little farm is evolving, changing and growing, but generally, I will just cook for you.

If you care a lot about my emotional state and what’s happening in the fields (and don’t feel like you can wait for a monthly update about farm life here), do not distress, both my blog and farm Instagram accounts have a hefty amount of information about our feelings and the trials and tribulations of farm life (as well as a whole bunch of happy stuff about self care and love too). Thanks for understanding this much needed pivot. I look forward to filling your inbox with so many more recipes in the future.

And now, for the main event, a picture perfect bowl of farm goodness that takes exactly 8 minutes to make (maybe 20 if you don’t have bread that is already dried out). It is just eight ingredients- three of which are likely pouring out of your gardens and CSA boxes right now (or will be very soon).

Panzanella is one of my favorite things to play with any season of the year. It means bread salad in Italian and the addition of a bunch of dried out bread to a bowl of farm fresh goodness just works beautifully no matter the combination of ingredients. This particular salad celebrates the start of tomato season. It is bright, colorful, a little crunchy, and a little sweet. It would be a great dish to scale up to bring to a potluck or just devour on your own in the backyard.

The addition of dill was 100% a personal preference and could be left out if you aren’t so crazy about it. You could also substitute mint, basil, parsley or chives– whatever you have an overabundance of. We’re growing dill for the first time at our farm and it isn’t really turning out in volumes substantial enough to give our CSA members, which means I’m just growing a very large personal dill patch, and I am completely okay with that. Expect dill on everything in the weeks to come.

I hope you enjoy and I hope your gardens are awash in color and beauty.

Much love,
Your Leek

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FIRST TOMATO PANZANELLA WITH BURRATA

Takes 15 minutes
Serves 1-2 (one as a meal, 2 as a side)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups cubes of dried bread (preferably sourdough or something a little fancy with great texture)*
2 tablespoons fresh dill (fronds or flowers or a combination is great!), plus more for garnish
4 ounces burrata cheese

  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, vinegar, oil and salt. Toss to combine.
  2. Once your bread is cooled (as in, let it rest for a few minutes if it’s coming straight out of the oven), add that to the bowl of tomatoes and cucumbers along with the dill. Toss to combine again. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Serve in a bowl with a ball (or two) of (preferably fresh) burrata.

*Don’t have a loaf of drying bread lying around? No worries! Cut 2 cups of bread into cubes (crusts are fine), lay out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees until a little toasty and real crunchy. You can also cube bread the day before and leave it out uncovered on a baking sheet in a sunny place. 

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