my dear friend caroline (please, please check out her blog. it’s just lovely) lent me a book that has caused me to fall in love. molly wizenberg who some of you may know from her blog wrote a homemade life. she has a captivating way of writing about life and food. and what could be better than chapters ended with recipes? just don’t read this one before bed; you may be making scottish scones with lemon and ginger, or cider-glazed salmon at 2 a.m.
one recipe in particular (well, can i really say that? i want to make each and every one of them.) caught my attention. bread salad with cherries, arugula, and goat cheese. lets see here, i was introduced to arugula on the farm last year and just love it’s spicy, snappiness; cherry season has been in full swing; and who can really resist goat cheese? needless to say, i scoured the farmers market for arugula for the last month with no success. so the first time i created this dish, i substituted. last weekend i made a point to get there early and i though the guys at trillium haven farm didn’t exactly share my thrill in finding arugula, they were happy to sell it to me. the bread, cherries and goat cheese i also found at the market. i made it again tonight. now it’s your turn.
bread salad with cherries, arugula, and goat cheese
6 oz. rustic white bread, preferably day-old
1/2 lb. cherries, halved and pitted
1/8 tsp. crushed garlic
fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
using a sharp knife, trim the crust from the bread, and discard the crust. tear the bread into rough bite-sized pieces. you should have about 4 loosely packed cups’ worth. dump the bread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle it with olive oil. toss to coat. don’t worry if the pieces aren’t evenly oiled; that’s okay. bake until crispy and golden in spots, shaking the pan once, 8 to 10 minutes.
meanwhile, put about one-third of the cherries in a small bowl, and crush them lightly with a fork, so that they release their juices. you don’t want to mash them completely; just smash them a bit.
when the bread is nicely toasted, turn it out into a large bowl. while it is still hot, add the garlic, and toss well. set aside to cool for a minute or two. then add the cherries, both the smashed ones and the not-smashed ones, and toss. add 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar and toss again. add 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch or two of salt and toss again. taste, and adjust the vinegar, oil, and salt as needed: if you taste the bread and the cherries separately, they each should taste good alone. when you’re satisfied with the flavor, add about 2 handfuls of arugula and toss one at a time. finish with a generous amount of crumbled goat cheese and a few grinds of the pepper mill, and serve.
yield: 4 first course servings or a light meal for 2
-a homemade life by molly wizenberg