Too hot to cook, so what's for dinner?
Fortunately, we'd had some neighbors over for Labor Day and I'd made bruschetta (look for an upcoming column). So among the leftovers, I had chopped tomatoes and toasted bread, rubbed with garlic. If you can't get dinner out of tomatoes and garlic bread, you need help.
I tossed the bread with the tomatoes, which, having been salted, had released a lot of juice. After a 15-minute walk with the pup, the bread had absorbed the juices and softened. I dumped the whole thing in the food processor, added some more fresh cherry tomatoes and a bunch of torn basil and chopped it to a mush. Panzanella! Moistened with some good olive oil, topped with a couple of spoonfuls of ricotta, it was tart and tomatoey and just the perfect cool dinner for a blistering hot night.
Speaking of tomatoes and bread (how's that for a slick segue): Come by the Hollywood farmers market Sunday morning for the Tomato Festival. At 10 a.m., Evan Kleiman and I will be demonstrating some tomato recipes, and I've got gazpacho on my mind.
-- Russ Parsons
Photo credit: Russ Parsons / Los Angeles Times