So you’ve looked at the picture and now I can hear you screeching, “Has she gone mad! There’s NO WAY my kids would eat that”. And possibly you’re right. The vegies are all on show, there’s A LOT of them and there’s even little bits of poison like olives included in this panzanella.
But the thing is, kids are never going to eat a salad like this if they’re never introduced to it. I get sick of parents saying to me “my kids just WON’T eat (insert item name)”, to which I say, “do you ever serve (insert that item name)”, then usually they sheepishly admit that no, they never do.
I understand that you’re battle weary, but how on earth will your kids ever eat a wide variety of food if you’ve stopped serving it?
The kids shouldn’t hold us hostage, destined to a life of sausages and carrot sticks. They need to understand that while you do spend time creating their favourite dishes, sometimes they have to join in with your favourite dishes too. They need to see adults enjoying healthy food. And if you serve this at your next BBQ, they can see lots of adults oohing and aahing over it. Being that kids are such classic joiner-innerers, they might even have a stab at it. At this stage, my kids will munch on the bread, capsicum, cucumber and olives.
Who knows, by the end of summer, after seeing and eating it multiple times, I’m betting that they’ll just tuck straight in.
½ red onion
2 red capsicums
½ Baguette (or slices of sourdough – it’s delicious and chewy)
2 large cloves garlic
1 large Lebanese cucumber
2 punnets of cherry or roma tomatoes OR 3 big vine ripened OR 4 roma tomatoes
Handful of olives
½ bunch basil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Slice the red onion and place in a cup of iced water. This takes the ‘bite’ out of the onion but still leaves it firm and crunchy. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes then drain and set aside.
Cut the cheeks off the capsicum and place under a hot griller until totally blackened. Remove and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle. Once they are, peel and discard the skin.
Grill the baguette or sourdough slices until toasted. Do both sides then remove. Rub garlic over one side while the bread is still hot.
Chop your tomatoes (just in half for little ones) and add to a salad bowl. Add in the chopped cucumber and chopped capsicum flesh.
Tear over the basil and the toasted bread. Toss through the onion and olives.
Mix the oil and vinegar together (whisk with a fork) and pour over.
This salad can be served fresh but its nice to leave it sit for a couple of hours so that the flavours can combine.
Serves 8 as a side dish.