This isn't a real post with a new recipe, but I promised in my last post to give some more ideas on how to use pane toscano. So if this isn't a real post, why did it take me over a month to write it? I don't have a good answer for that other than the fact that if you asked me to tell you what month it is I would probably tell you it's April. April, 2010. Time just doesn't have the same slow-moving properties as an adult that it did when you were a kid waiting for summer vacation, does it?
So, to remind you, pane toscano is a relatively easy bread to make at home, but it is pretty bland because it is intended to be used alongside other flavorful foods. It's perfect to grab the last spots of sauce off of your plate, or you can use it as a main component in a dish. I used mine by cutting it in slices and lightly toasting it. I then topped the slices with some spinach that I had sauteed with some garlic and butter. This makes for a great appetizer.
Another way to use the pane toscano would be to make a bread salad that can function as a side dish, an appetizer, or even a light lunch. Just cut the bread into cubes and toss it with diced tomatoes, a little olive oil, and some salt and pepper. You can dress this up however you would like by adding olives or some cubed fresh mozzarella as well. If you go this route, you can toast the bread and it almost becomes a deconstructed bruschetta.
What do you think? How would you use pane toscano?