Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gratitude and Panzanella

It's Sunday. I love the slow pace of Sundays, reading the newspaper while savoring a cappuccino, cooking, walking the dogs, even doing laundry takes on an easier air. Lunch, however, is my favorite part of the day. I prefer to have a substantial meal at mid-day and eat lighter for dinner, if I have my choice. Fixing lunch seems to be my specialty, whereas my marito (husband) who is a fantastic cook, can only seem to manage dinners. I can look at the refrigerator and pantry and always find something to create out of leftovers and stocked items. Antonio needs to always start a meal from scratch. I'm not sure what that says about us, but I am thankful that are talents are not the same!

Yesterday Antonio warned me that he would be ripping up our tomato plants soon. I protested, "Just a few more days, pleeeeease!" I want to enjoy every last possible little red treasure. So, today, I picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes and romas, along with some basil. I had a cucumber from the farmers' market and some old bread - all the makings of panzanella (of course with some very good olive oil, salt and pepper.)

It seems as though I have seen a lot of posts recently using ceci/chickpeas and they were on my mind. We always have ceci in the pantry, so I decided to try some mixed in my panzanella. I say "my" because I have learned not to try anything untraditional on my husband. I let him try my experiments from my plate before I make them for him. It usually works. However, if I had prepared his dish experimentally, most likely he would have not liked it. A little kitchen psychology at work! Anyhow, the ceci on the panzanella was wonderful.

Yesterday I had made Becsfarm's Baba Ghanoush (see her post for recipe.) Today I also added a few of the ceci on top of the Baba Ghanoush and liked it very much.

As we were having lunch, a dark storm rolled in - a very rare occurrence in a Southern California summer. With a bouquet of fresh, home-grown roses on the table, the heavy air and cool breeze, I could imagine myself in the countryside of Italy or France. I felt very grateful for all that we have in our little house, our tiny garden, our love, our friends, our family, our food (and full tummies), our dogs and our slow Sunday lunch.

Oh, here are our "babies", Golia and Ruby, who are also very grateful - grateful to have us all home together:

19 comments:

katiez said...

Cute doggies! And a lovely salad! I would hve gone for the chickpeas, too, but, then I love pulses of any kind.
I was looking at your website - what wonderful tours. I adore Italy, and if it wouldn't have been for having to muddle through a fourth language (badly) would have moved there instead of France. We'll have to suffer with travel....

ritu said...

my most favorite--est salad in the world.
thats what i love about Italians, they use every bit of left overs and create something magical out of it.. adding Cecci is a great idea

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds like the perfect Sunday!
Great job on using up those leftovers and not letting those garden tomatoes go to waste!

Rebecca Lemke said...

Ah, yes, indeed Sundays are delightful for relaxation, being with loved ones and of course those beautiful pals with four legs. Even if laundry is involved! Your photos make me hungry. Ciao for now.

Mélanie said...

It looks so miam miam . I am hungry !!!!

The Passionate Palate said...

Katiez - At least you are lucky enough to live closer to Italy than us here! Don't you have doggies too?

Ritu - glad you liked the ceci idea. I would love try your version of this salad. Someday in New Delhi, right?

Jenndz - I knew the Leftover Queen would appreciate that kind of cooking. :-)

Rebec - I know you can appreciate a Slow Sunday and the gratitude.

Melanie - pop on by and I'll feed you!

african vanielje said...

Once again your beautiful blog evokes places and tastes one wishes to try

Half Baked said...

Cooking on a lazy sunday is our favorite pastime as well. It's amazing what beautiful food cn be made from simple ingredients!

african vanielje said...

Oh, thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I love to read you too. You always sound like you are taking the time out to really appreciate your blessings. what a lovely way to live. I am working my way donw your list of blogs - if you love them I probabely will too.

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

Hi PP, I found you through Ilva's blog. I couldn't get to your site through my blog. Thanks for your lovely comments! Your blog looks great, I'll be back!!Lovely salad bt:)

Ciao!!

The Passionate Palate said...

AV - Thank you and you are most welcome! Without a daily gratitude practice life would be much more difficult and not nearly so beautiful. I can tell by the words that you write that you, too, are a grateful and happy person.

HB - It is a wonderful past time and hobby, isn't it? And we get to share this passion with so many others from around the world!

Christina said...

We didn't get any of that rain up here, but we did get the dramatic clouds, which were amazing to watch. Tonight's sunset was spectacular too.

I sympathize with your desire to keep the tomatoes as long as you can. I had to pull out two plants today too--I've got two more, but the won't last that much longer either. It's sad to see them go, but exciting to think of the other things that will replace them.

Lovely panzanella.

Maryann said...

Hello TPP. I too found you from Ilva's site. Love your blog..will be back :)

sognatrice said...

Oh my goodness I can *so* identify with this--P is also a dinner as opposed to lunch maker, and I know better than to just make something all new for him. Always in baby steps ;)

The panzanella looks fab--maybe I'll piece this together today since we haven't eaten yet ;)

The Passionate Palate said...

Christina - we just tried trimming back a couple of the tomato plants to see if they would grow some more and flower some more. Have you ever done that?

Maryann - welcome and do come back as often as you want! I love visitors, but just wish I could offer a glass of wine or a meal in addition to a post. :-)

Sognatrice - oh the things we do for our men. ;-) Has it cooled off at all down there?

Ambra Celeste said...

Che belli! Questi cagnolini sono veramente adorabili!!! Delta would love to play with them. Thanks for visiting my blog so I could follow back to yours,
Ciao!

rowena said...

Having two different cooking styles in the kitchen can only mean good eating, period! For example, I cook from recipes or on a whim while my husband will simply say "Feel like eating pizza tonight?" hehe....

The Passionate Palate said...

Ambra - Oh, I wish our doggies could play together! Glad you found me.

Rowena - You are absolutely right! I would hate it if our cooking styles were alike.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I could ...almost... taste that bite.

Sigh.

Bet it was better than it looked.

The babies are sweet!!


Scarlett & Viaggiatore