We’re well into the summer season but the past few days here in San Francisco have been cold and foggy. This summer has been a unique one for Tom and I. I usually associate these months with feelings of relaxation, excitement for summer travel, and anticipation for what the fall will bring but this summer we’ve been feeling opposite of those emotions. Instead of relaxation there has been anxiety, restlessness and a sense of uncertainty about the future. Some of this is due to our jobs. My company recently went through a large and stressful merger and having used all our PTO for the wedding and honeymoon, we have no planned time off to look forward to. But more than that the summer has felt off because we don’t know what’s coming next. Unlike in years past where we had plans for the new year to anticipate, this year we are left wondering what we’re heading towards and who we want to be as a new family. Just like the weather here, the future feels foggy and unknown and there is discomfort in that.
Fortunately for us, we love a God who uses discomfort to grow and change and teach us and one of the things I’ve been learning is to hold the future with a loose grip. I’m learning not only to trust God to show up in the day to day decisions that are slowly shaping our lives, but to also actively look for Him in those moments too. Although I’m not sure where we’re heading, I know that God hasn’t stopped leading and instead of focusing on the larger picture I’m trying to appreciate the small, concrete moments in our lives as we live each day.
That brings us to this Peach Panzanella Salad. One of the small things I’m trying to appreciate more is the taste and flavor of foods. Instead of just consuming, I want to savor what I eat and notice all the loveliness and complexity of the ingredients. Luckily that’s not so very hard to do during the summer when the markets are full of fresh, beautiful produce. This salad is a celebration of some of my favorite flavors of the season. Juicy, sweet peaches. Flavorful, savory tomatoes. Fresh and fragrant mint and basil. Throw them together with some toasty ciabatta and creamy burrata and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer salad! Prepare this for your next summer gathering and let me know what you think!
- Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Place in bowl and let soak in two tbsp of red wine vinegar.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Cut the ciabatta into one inch sized cubes and toss with 4 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and beginning to get crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Once finished let cool on baking sheet.
- Meanwhile slice the peaches and place in a large bowl.
- Chop large heirloom tomatoes into pieces or halve cherry tomatoes and add to bowl.
- Rip burrata into chunks and add to bowl.
- Add mint and basil leaves to bowl, tearing very large leaves into smaller pieces.
- To make the dressing, whisk together ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp sugar. Pour over ingredients in bowl.
- Drain and add shallots.
- Scatter the toasted ciabatta over the top of the salad and very gently toss the whole mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving to soften the bread.