Summer Panzanella Salad

SUMMER PANZANELLA SALAD

Panzanella is a rustic Tuscan salad that uses toasted bread, juicy ripe tomatoes, onions, basil & other chopped summer vegetables all tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette. It is a wonderful summer salad as it uses many of the seasonal vegetables available at the farmer’s markets. If you happen to grow tomatoes, you know how they all come at once, so keep this dish in mind!

This salad would be a great accompaniment to grilled fish or meat and is simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • a small French baguette (cut into 1″ cubes)
  • 3 TB. of olive oil (to use to toast the bread)
  • 2 – 3 ripe tomatoes (or 1 – 2 large tomatoes and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 small red pepper (thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 1 small yellow pepper (thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil (torn into pieces)
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (chopped)
  • a handful of other fresh herbs like sage, thyme & oregano (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium cucumber or zucchini (chopped into slices and quarters)
  • and, or
  • 2 cups of yellow way & green beans (blanched and cut into pieces) *I happened to have some fresh from my garden and no cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of black olives
  • 3/4 cup of marinated artichokes
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella (torn into 1 – 2″ pieces)
  • salt & pepper to taste

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* Toast the bread cubes in the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until lightly golden (about 8 – 10 minutes)

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* Chop the veggies into bite sized pieces

* tear the mozzarella in to pieces and set aside

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For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/3 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

* add salt & pepper to taste

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Put the vegetables, bread cubes, olives, cheese & artichoke hearts in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over everything, then gently toss it altogether with a large spoon.

Let the Panzanella all sit for an hour so that all the flavors mingle and the bread soaks up the tomato juice and vinaigrette.

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Serve & enjoy!

 

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