Panzanella – Italian Vegetable Salad with Bread
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 small French bread or Italian bread, cut into 1–inch cubes (6 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1–inch cubes
- 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2–inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1–inch cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1–inch cubes
- 1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
- 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the vinaigrette:
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
- In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Keep the bread separate and mix it in at the last second on only as much as you think you’ll need (this way any leftovers can be stored separately and won’t suffer from soggy bread).
Recipe and Photo: Sunshine and Bones / CC BY-SA