Monday, June 23, 2008

perfect summer dessert or breakfast

This berry parfait originally started as strawberry panzanella, as seen on 101 Cookbooks. I intended to make the panzanella (a bread salad). . . but after sampling the delicious brown sugar-glazed cubes of bread, I didn't have enough bread to make panzanella! Just kidding - but they are really good! Inspired by a breakfast dish on my recent trip to Aspen, I decided to add blueberries and raspberries, which led me to a parfait rather than the panzanella.

Here's what I think is a perfect dessert - or breakfast - for summer:

Fruit Panzanella Parfait
1 dense, hearty loaf of bread (16 oz.), cut into 1-inch cubes
(really tasty if it is multi-grain and includes seeds/nuts)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 to 1 1/2 pint strawberries, washed and quartered
optional: 1/4 cup sugar
blueberries and raspberries to taste
1 small container plain (or vanilla) yogurt

Leave bread out, uncovered, overnight. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and salt to butter and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add bread cubes; toss to coat. Pour coated bread cubes onto a rimmed baking sheet (I suggest lightly greasing or using non-stick spray on the baking sheet); bake 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until pieces become golden brown and crispy.

Mash half of the strawberries with a potato masher (or fork) to make a sauce. Add sugar, if using (my suggestion: use sugar if serving for a dessert; skip sugar if serving as breakfast). When bread cubes cool, layer bread, yogurt, strawberry sauce, sliced strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Alternate layers as many times as serving dish allows. Top with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

I think this recipe could easily serve 4-6, depending on serving size (and how many strawberries and bread cubes you snack on during preparation:).

Mmm . . . this is my kind of fruit salad!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

After trying the panzanella, Tom chirped that it was "outstanding." Wow! That's a lot from one who rarely passes judgment on anything. Due to a time crunch, I had to make it without leaving the multi-grain bread out overnight, lightly toasting it, instead. Erin suggested I set out a parfait bar and allow my guests to build their own with the caramel croutons, blueberries, strawberries, and vanilla yogurt, which worked out great. No doubt I'll make it again, especially considering Tom's reaction.....