New Meal Monday: Fresh Bread Edition

So this week's New Meal Monday is taking a bit of a different approach.  Rather than talk about a specific recipe, thought we'd share some ideas we have regarding one of our favorite food groups: Bread.  
In Vermont, summer means its farmer's market season, which means a variety of options to buy delicious, freshly baked artisan bread.  Often, one of the challenges with fresh bread, is that it just isn't quite as good a day or two later, and we often just like to have bread on the side of our dinner. So what my wife and I would struggle with, was whether it was worth buying a whole loaf to just have a couple pieces with dinner. However, a few years ago, we started finding new uses for the bread, and now, we'll pick up a fresh loaf of bread, and plan several meals around using the bread in different ways.

FIRST, we use the bread as a side with our dinner.  When the bread is freshest, we like to enjoy it, with just a bit of butter, and enjoy it.

The next day, once the bread isn't quite as fresh, we start getting creative!
For breakfast, fry an egg and top with cheddar cheese, put on a slices of fresh bread.  Press the sandwich in hot skillet (coated lightly with melted butter) on each side for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the outside of the bread is golden and toasted. Also, I like to but a little bit of Maple BBQ Sauce inside one of the slices of bread!

The next night for dinner, we'll use the bread to make paninis! Our favorite is to toss sliced grilled chicken breast with either pesto (my wife's favorite) or BBQ Sauce (my favorite).  Top the chicken with cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce and slice of tomato.  Press in a hot pan, or on a panini press, until cheese is melted and bread is toasted and golden brown.

Another option is to cut the remaining bread into small pieces, toast them in the oven (you can brush with olive oil before toasting them if you'd like) and use to make bruschetta. There's a lot of good bruschetta recipes out there, to me the most important thing is the bread (obviously) and the freshness of the tomatoes.  Also, sometimes I make something that's not really bruschetta, but I call it that anyway, and its pretty good. Dice the tomatoes and toss them in pesto, then scoop the pesto covered tomatoes onto the toasted bread, then top with crumbled goat cheese.

These are obviously just a few ideas, but hopefully this helps you find more reasons to support many of the incredible bakers out there making fantastic breads every day!

 (Also, in honor of June being Knife Month at Kiss The Cook, pictured is the Wusthof Classic 10" Double Serrated Bread Knife!)