Kitchen economy in Greece, indeed in the whole Mediterranean, once required that home cooks make use of every last bit of food. There are lots of old dishes made with leftover bread. Most call for simmering small bits of stale bread in some kind of broth or milk or sometimes just in plain water with a little olive oil and salt. I like this old dish, which calls for sauteing cubes of stale bread with a few other ingredients. Panada is one more dish from Lefkada, culled from the island’s impressive repertory of simple country
Makes 2 to 4 servings
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups 1-inch bread cubes without crusts
- 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and saute the bread until golden and crisp. Remove bread and set aside.
2. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onion, stirring, just until the onion begins to color, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and swirl around with the onion. Season with a little salt. Add the bread and toss all together in the skillet until the bread is warmed through. Remove from the heat, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.