panzanella, no tomatoes necessary.


My very favorite part of summer produce are the heirloom tomatoes. No doubt I'm not alone in this. I can eat a juicy summer tomato in the same way I eat a peach—teeth breaking the thin skin, pink juice dribbling down my chin and wrists. A good summer tomato requires little more than a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to turn it into a meal. And if you've been reading these tea leaves for awhile, you'll know that the faster a meal comes together, the happpier I am.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that yesterday I found myself with a loaf of past-its-prime bread and no juicy August tomatoes to turn it into a lip-smacking panzanella. I was gearing up for a sad dinner of French toast when I remembered a slender bulb of July fennel tucked into the crisper.

Like any modern woman faced with half an idea for dinner, I turned to my friend Google and began to type:


Why I google as though not equipped with a proper command of the English language, I don't know. But, abracadabra! The spell worked and a recipe I found. I strapped Faye into her stroller, wheeled her down the street to pick up what I could remember of the list I left behind and came home to make a dinner that turned out to be quick and delicious and worthy of sharing here.
Radicchio, fennel, and a bunch of flat-leaf parsley for a pre-peak-tomato-season panzanella.
If there's nothing else that appeals about this recipe, the lemon zest added to the croutons will. So simple and such a game-changer.panzanella
The result? A salad that tastes like someone tossed the antipasti plate into a bowl and called it dinner. Pasti?
Fennel, Radicchio, and Olive Panzanella

Adapted from this recipe from Bon Appetit. Slight changes based on what I happened to have at home, what I remembered to buy on my trip to the grocery store, and what I like best.

3/4 loaf of day-old baguette (or whatever bread you happen to have), cubed
zest of one lemon
olive oil to taste (lots)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
1 small head radicchio, torn into pieces
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, removed from stems and roughly chopped (don't skimp)
1/2 cup or so pitted green olives, halved if you care to bother
shaved Manchego to taste (I used about an 1/8 of a pound)

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Toss cubed bread with the lemon zest and a generous drizzle of olive oil (really coat those cubes); season with salt and pepper. Bake until crispy, making sure to jiggle the pan occasionally. Allow to cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix red onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The original recipe calls for shallot instead of onion, red wine vinegar, and fresh oregano. I had none of these, but feel free to add them here if your heart desires. If you'd like to use vinegar, cut the amount of lemon juice by half.

3. Add chopped radicchio, fennel, parsely, olives, and a hearty portion of shaved cheese. (Hard salami could be added here for meat-lovers.) Toss to combine. Taste and add another squeeze of lemon or drizzle of olive oil as you desire (I finished by adding the juice of a second lemon). Chill.

4. Remember hours—even a day—later that you've got dinner in the fridge and serve.

my week in objects (mostly).


five little things that made my week.

1. this blueberry toast.
blueberry jam
{because butter + jam.}

2. these sweet slippers from rennae.
{because, gah!}

3. this journal.
{for making me write just one line a day.}

4. this broken seat.
chair seat
{which decidedly didn't make my week, but finding a replacement seat did.}

5. james's iphone.
{and the hawaiian pandora station that lulls faye to sleep every single time.}

other things:
quick pickles. on repeat.
dangling digital carrots.
i need this reminder.
mother's mother.
tiny house swoon.
working outside.

from the archive:
whiskey + peaches.

life in a tiny apartment.


Survival tip #104.

Tap, tap. Is this thing on?

Life since Faye has been a bit too lively for me to pay much attention to this series, but James's family came to visit this weekend and James was home for an extra few hours on Friday, and well, I got to flex my creative muscles ever so slightly in preparation for their arrival, which brought me to this tip:

Fill your apartment with tiny flowers.

tiny flowers

I had to double-check that I hadn't written about this already. For a girl who makes a habit of collecting tiny glass bottles for this express purpose, I'm not sure what stopped me from extolling their virtues before. But here's the thing: in a tiny apartment, a large floral arrangement overwhelms.

This was especially true in our old apartment, where even a modestly sized arrangement took up far too much of our 240 square feet to be advisable. But even in our new larger space, many small floral arrangements instead of a single large arrangement do better work to cheer up the space.

In fact, I've been known to dismantle a large bouquet from the get-go—using small bottles to place a stem here, a few others there—rather than allowing one bohemoth to swallow the joint.

tiny flowers

But even better than small arrangements of few flowers, are small arrangements of tiny flowers.

In these bouquets, I used a bunch of a something that looks like chamomile and a bunch of smaller pink star-shaped flower that I'm not sure the name of. I snagged them from the grocery store flower stall down the street and they did superior work of making me feel as though they'd just come in from the meadow. You can take a girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl...

tiny flowers

Tiny apartment survival tips # 1-103, right here.

my week in objects (mostly).


five little things that made my week.

1. this costa rican coffee.
coffee beans
{sent with love for desperate newbie parents.}

2. this sheepie.
{for a not-so-sleepy baby.}

3. this morning sunlight.
{for a neglected houseplant.}

4. this tee from everlane.
black tee
{because i'm not usually sold on rayon, but this sure helped with discreet breastfeeding this week.}

5. this fan.
{for all the obvious reasons.}

other things:
dream shirt.
5th grade reading level. whoops.
healthy, wholesome, and sound.
for making onesie "improvements?"
ma books.
quick pickled onions.
men in suits. with ice cream.
writerly regrets.
books and the beach.

things from the archive:
cherries + dough.

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