Pretty Panzanella

We're getting settled into our new place, and cooking has been put on the back burner as we make our way through stacks of unpacked items -- deciding what goes where, and hoping it all fits!

But, we do still need to eat! So, I've been improvising. I had a half loaf of stale (hard as a rock) bread, some greens, cherry tomatoes, and a few grilled vegetables, so I decided to make a Gourmess version of "panzanella" a.k.a. bread salad, for dinner.

I wrapped the bread in a damp paper towel and put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften it enough to cut into bite-sized cubes. I sliced up the tomatoes and the grilled veggies and then tossed them and the bread in a large bowl with a heavy pour of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a couple pinches of salt/pepper, crushed red pepper, and some dried herbs. It went into the fridge to marinate for as long as we could wait, then I added my salad greens and tossed with a bit more olive oil and salt/pepper as needed before serving.
The bread soaked up all the delightful flavors and was soft but not soggy. Paired with a glass of wine and some hummus and olives, it was lovely but light meal.