This recipe features another star of the summer farmer’s market. Peaches ripe, sun-yellow, succulent, and perfectly balanced between sweet & tart overwhelm the senses with their bounty. From the fuzzy skin to the fortifying flesh, the fruit of the species Prunus persica just screams summer. Panzanella, on the other hand, pronounces summer slowly and deliberately, with the well-fed cadence of a plump history professor. Put them together, and you get a a dessert (or breakfast!) worthy of a summer smile. Pumpernickel & nuts just add to the fun, and blueberries are a natural (thanks, Anne-Susan!).
Peach Pumpernickel Panzanella
makes 8 servings
1 loaf pumpernickel bread (about 1 lb)
3 lbs very ripe peaches, pitted & chopped
2 cups blueberries
1 cup toasted almonds
6 tablespoons fancy extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
fresh mint leaves
Cut bread crosswise into 1-inch slices and arrange in one layer on cake rack. Leave uncovered on kitchen counter for 12-24 hours until barely soft in center of slices. Tear bread into 1-1/2-inch chunks, and combine with peaches, blueberries, and almonds in large bowl. Whisk together olive oil, honey, & balsamic vinegar; pour mixture over panzanella and toss. Toss every 15 minutes or so for an hour. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.