Feed your family for $20

July 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nick Smith took a tour of the Ferry Building with Tanya Wenman Steel, the editor in chief of Epicurious.com, to learn how to shop on a budget of $20 and feed a family of four!

Grilled Panzanella Salad with Bell Peppers, Summer Squash, and Tomatoes

Grilled vegetables pump up the classic Tuscan bread-and-tomato salad. What to drink: An Italian white like Vernaccia di San Gimignano or Orvieto. Can't find ciabatta? Use any good-quality crusty Italian or French bread.

Servings: Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted bell peppers (about 3 large), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 12- to 14-ounce loaf of ciabatta, some crust trimmed to expose bread, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, cut into thirds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Other
  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored, cut into 3/4-inch dice, juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as chives, dill, chervil, and tarragon)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

Recipe

Step 1) Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush both sides of bell peppers, squash, onion, and bread slices lightly with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, about 4 minutes per side for peppers and squash and 3 minutes per side for onion.

Step 2) Grill bread until browned and crisp, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Cool slightly. Rub bread with cut sides of garlic.

Step 3) Tear bread into 3/4-inch pieces; place in very large bowl. Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces; add to bread in bowl.

Step 4) Dressing -- Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 5) Assembly -- Add dressing, tomatoes with juices, and all remaining ingredients to salad; toss. Let stand 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Greenmarket Money-Saving Tips
You're already saving the planet when you're shopping at the greenmarket. Transporting your food across the country (and the world) expends a lot of fuel. You're also supporting small local businesses. The key to making the greenmarket save you some green, too, is maximizing what you buy and shopping smart. We have some tips below:

· Store food correctly. The best way to save money is to use everything you buy. Lots of people overbuy and then aren't sure how to use what's left, or keep it from spoiling. For instance, many people are unaware that warm weather fruits like tomatoes shouldn't go in the fridge -- it actually makes them spoil faster. Keep perishables like milk and eggs out of the refrigerator door. It's the warmest part of the fridge, and they'll last much longer kept cooler at the bottom of the fridge. · Plan your menu or menus ahead of time, or remain flexible. You'll wind up wasting time, but also money, by purchasing things at random and trying to fit them into a meal later. A little bit of forethought (and a list) really helps, and in place of that, flexibility is key. Buy what's in season. The very first crop of asparagus every year is in high demand and only produced by one or two farmers at any given market.

For more information, visit epicurious.com


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