The beauty of this dish is that it’s so simple. It revels in its proletarian roots and it’s this very lack of pretension that makes it so delicious and appealing. Unlike my prose.
This is truly a left over dish. When all you have is old bread and salt water, a couple of onions and a hunk of rapidly hardening cheese, the provincial panade is the savory butterfly that emerges from the austerest of cocoons.
Rumored to be the precursor of the classic French onion soup, the panade is like a caramelized onion bread pudding. Soft and satisfying, this dish is excellent comfort food for kicking around the house and recharging the mettle.
It’s so easy to put together, in fact, that I think I’ll take a paint-by-numbers approach and relate the recipe through a jaunty pictorial with minimal interjections.
Ok. Get some onions (reference top photo if you’re confused).
Caramelize them (a bay leaf and a little garlic couldn’t hurt).
Layer old sliced bread with onions and cheese. Repeat until you reach the top.
Pour in salt water that tastes like a well seasoned soup; it should come about ¾ of the way up.
Bake at 375˚F for about an hour. It helps to keep it covered in foil for the first half.
We had ours with roasted baby carrots in a dill-butter sauce and a nice green salad with spinach, red peppers, avocado, and walnuts.
You should have yours, well, soon.
And of course we’d like to extend a very special thanks to Derrick of obsessionwithfood.com for hosting this 25th stellar IMBB. Your hard work is most appreciated sir.
Cook it up peoples.