Panzanella a Summer Salad Recipe
It is the height of tomato season, and I cannot get enough of their bright red deliciousness. I will sometimes buy a couple of pounds from one vendor at the farmers market, then see more at another stall and buy them, too. Yes, I have even bought from three different vendors in a single day. So, maybe I have a problem…Continue reading here for the original blog post by: Cocoa & Lavender.
The Panzanella recipe follows below. This summer salad has its origins in Italy but could just as easily have been invented in Provence. All you need is some fresh tomatoes, cucumber, basil and stale bread. Enjoy this summer creation.
There are so many ways to use fresh tomatoes. I love making a Tomato Soup with Fennel and Pastis — there is nothing like it with a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Then there is my Tomato Saffron Cream Sauce for pasta — it is “lick your plate” good. And if you are in a Côte d’Azur mood, there is always the Tarte aux Tomates, perfect for lunch anytime (see recipe below).
- 1 1/2 lbs Ripe Tomatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 6-8 oz Rustic Sourdough Bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 1 Cucumber peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 tbsp Red Wine vinegar
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- large handful of Basil Leaves torn (leaving a few whole for garnish)
- Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl to save the juices, and season with the salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally while you toast the bread.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Remove colander with tomatoes from the bowl with tomato juice. Add the vinegar to the tomato juices, and whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season dressing to taste with pepper (the tomatoes and their juice are already salty, so I don’t recommend adding additional salt).
- Combine toasted and cooled bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, and torn basil leaves in a large bowl - drizzle dressing over the top. Toss everything to coat and taste for seasoning. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving, tossing a couple of times in the interim to distribute the dressing.