It's our annual summer race. No, I don't mean a 5K or 10K. Our marathon starts in July and runs through October. It's our race to consume (or give away) our tomatoes as they ripen, and to beat the birds who are also waiting for the perfectly ripe tomato on the vine.. This summer it was hotter than usual and the heat wave gave our tomatoes an amazing growth spurt and they are sweeter because of it.
To add some variety to our tomato meals I made this twist on a classic Italian bread and tomato salad called panzanella. Bread and tomatoes are tossed with cooked (cured) chorizo, onions, and fresh herbs. Dressed with Spanish sherry vinegar and oil makes this a perfect summer meal.
TOMATO BREAD SALAD WITH CHORIZO AND HERBS
3 oz. day-old country bread, torn into bite-size pieces, about 3 cups
5 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound dried (cured) chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup Spanish onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 TBSP. sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt, more to taste
Black pepper, as needed
2 ripe, juicy tomatoes, about 1 pound, cut into 1 inch chunks, about 3 cups
1/3 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
Heat broiler. Spread bread on large baking sheet and toast until just golden, about 1 minute.
In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP. oil over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and onion; cook until sausage is golden and onion soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in oregano and remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in remaining oil. In a large bowl, combine bread, tomato and chorizo mixture. Toss in dressing, basil and cilantro. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe from the New York Times