Based on that miserable weather, Ann and I had planned to picnic on Sunday up on Skyline Drive (which you can see just below the ridgeline in the photo below), up at elevation to get away from the heat. I had already put a bottle of Côtes de Gascogne Blanc in the freezer to chill for the picnic. But after we both went outside on the patio for morning coffee, I told her that the cold nip in the breeze was not white wine drinking weather, that it was decidedly red wine drinking weather and suggested that we scrap Skyline and go rather to Glen Manor and drink red wine and look up the mountain. No complaints from her!
|Early Fall at Glen Manor (see the bird netting on the vines?)|
|Our Mini Feast: Panzanella, Water, and T. Ruth|
And next to the bin of croutons were several balls of unsold fresh mozzarella that we had made right before dinner. [<rant>I'm just going to say it here: customers are knuckleheads. You can get Insalata Caprese at the restaurant for about 6 weeks a year. Order it when you see it!</rant>] And then I remembered that I had a bin full of chopped salad that would not carry through the weekend. And there you have it: instant panzanella.
You should have seen Ann freak out when I covered the croutons in water: she loves, loves, loves croutons! I soaked them for a minute and squeezed them out, diced the mozz and added it, and then poured over the chopped salad and gave the whole a big stir. A bit of salt and a touch more olive oil finished it.
The chopped salad is made from cucumbers; red, yellow, black, and green tomatoes; red, yellow, and purple peppers, a couple ears of corn, and sliced queen olives, all dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar, minced garlic, and salt.