27 Sep 2012
In the world of food, it doesn’t get more basic or humble than bread. You want to go even a notch further on the humbler spectrum – stale bread. Besides making bread crumbs or feeding the birds, there’s not a lot of roles for stale bread, and given that its likely the least expensive food you’ve bought that week, there is usually little grieving when it’s tossed into the trash.
I have an extreme aversion, however, to throwing out food – even stale bread. I don’t know where it comes from – its not like I grew up during the Depression. I grew up in the age of Ziploc disposible baggies and single-use Tupperware containers, but I can’t throw food away. (I also wash and re-use the baggies but we can talk about that later….)
So when I was faced with a stale baguette the other day, I had to find a use for it and eating it in its stale form was not an option. What to do? Re-hydrate it. With vegetable juices and salad dressing. The end result was a fabulous bread salad with the bread inside rather than outside the bowl.
Here’s how you make it: Take stale bread and tear it up or chop it up (the less dense the bread, the better – think baguette over pita or bagel as light bread will soak up the liquid more easily), add diced tomato (the best you can find – heirlooms are all around this time of the year), diced cucumber, chunks of fresh mozzarella (the kind that swims in liquid, not the kind that’s been squeezed into a plastic package), diced avocado, finely chopped onion and a sprinkle of dill (fresh or dried is fine – you could also use fresh basil). Drizzle a homemade vinaigrette over the whole thing, add salt and pepper, wait about 5 minutes (til the bread does some soaking-up – the less stale, the less time required) and you’re ready to eat. It makes a really substantial meal and you’ll feel good knowing you’ve saved one more baguette from an early demise.
Any more tips for stale bread? Share ‘em!
MichelleCheck out my latest posts here