I had half a loaf of a really yummy wheat baguette sitting on the counter at home and I wanted to turn it into panzanella, which is the Susan Boyle of salads. Traditionally panzanella is made with toasted bread cubes, tomato, mozzarella, red onion, and fresh basil, and you toss it in a balsamic vinaigrette and let the bread absorb all the vinegary goodness.
I decided to put a spin on it and make a melon panzanella. I was just going to sensibly cut the melon and everything else into cubes but the sneaky Rouses’ Grocery store I was at had a package of mozzarella pearls (get real, it’s balls) sitting right next to some beautiful round baby tomato balls. And I thought, well I’ll just make melon balls and be like the cool kids on Instagram!
I got home with my loot and realized I don’t have a melon baller… You know, those little scoops that you portion out cookie dough with. So I grabbed the oval shaped Ice Cream scoop and did my best. The melon did not ball… Rather it was just awkward looking pieces and I realized I’d forgotten to buy basil. All this came to a head when I tossed all the ingredients together and put it in a bowl and thought It was about the ugliest thing I have ever made (It wasn’t, there’s been worse). At this point It was almost 10:00 pm and I was ready to give up and scrap the recipe.
Tony delicately retrieved a blue plate from the cabinet, rearranged the salad and proceeded to photograph it in a way that actually made it look delightful! And I’m so glad he did because when I tasted it I didn’t care how ugly it was, I knew it had to go on the blog because it was just so damn good! The wheat bread was toasted in butter and tossed with the fresh melon, tomato and mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic and honey and oh my lord… You must try it.