tomato seeds in my eye

I did make it to HMB over Memorial Day weekend, but with visiting in-laws, and through crawling traffic for an hour. To escape the 92 congestion, hubby recommended we go north towards Pacifica and make our way down highway 1. It seems all of the Bay Area had the same idea. But the views going down were killer, and in-laws got what they wished: quality time with feuding grandkids. All this driving and bumping elbows makes me want to have a quiet dinner for one.


I didn’t get dinner for one, but the in-laws decided to go back to the city after a very late lunch. I have the perfect salad in mind to have for dinner and it doesn’t require reservations to a packed restaurant.


Sweet cherry tomatoes are available all year round, but just in case they are lacking sugary goodness, grilling them will concentrate their flavor. I’m grilling them on skewers with stale(a characteristic only desirable for panzanella salad, not so much for anything else in life) ciabatta bread drizzled with a little olive oil.

It took a little manipulation to squeeze a tiny watermelon in my mini fridge, but it’s amazing how much room can be made when you clear out all the single sized pizzas.

Watermelon bites and roasted cherry tomatoes make for a powerful mouthful. Bibs may be required to protect oneself from the squirting tomatoes. But nothing is more satisfying than grilled bread dripping in tomato juices. My son suggests goat cheese on the salad, and I have to concur, some creamy cheese would just push this salad into another dimension. It’s nice to see my 13yr old be adventurous with his food, but I am noticing the onion graveyard on his plate. Small steps…small culinary steps.

summer panzanella salad

summer panzanella salad


  • 4 cups of ciabatta bread(any crusty day old bread will do)
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 english cucumber
  • 2-3 cups cups cubed watermelon
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 10-12 wooden skewers(no need to soak since it will be on the grill for only a couple of minutes)


  1. Cube ciabatta bread roughly the same size as cherry tomatoes.
  2. Skewer the bread and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil on them before grilling.
  3. Grill for two minutes. (Just until tomatoes start crinkling and bread starts to char a bit)
  4. Slice onion thinly, and chunk cucumbers. Place in a bowl.
  5. Slide bread and tomatoes off the skewers and into the bowl.
  6. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Tear basil into the bowl.
  7. Add cubed watermelon, and gently mix into the salad.
  8. Eat immediately before bread becomes too soggy.
  9. (To make ahead, combine all the ingredients and add bread and tomatoes right before serving.)

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1 Response

  1. Henry says:

    Really well done!

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