Panzanella – AKA Bread Salad – My Favorite

by Girlinprogress on May 1, 2009

So I am not the best bread maker in the world.  Honestly it’s rare I end up with a picture perfect loaf. Most of the time I end up with loaves that have fallen, especially when I try an all whole wheat. Sometimes I make a perfect door stop. Anyway, needless to say I have disposable bread on hand. That’s were this yummy salad comes in.
I personally think it’s better with the whole wheat. It gets a really rich flavor when you toast it up.

 

Panzanella - AKA Bread Salad

 

The Line Up

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
( I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, so I opened up a jar of my bottled tomatoes. I pulled a couple out and cut them up. Honestly, I think I prefer the bottled)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced ½-inch thick
½ red onion, cut in ½ and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, torn (must be fresh basil)
10 mint leaves, torn (Optional. I had some on hand and it was really yummy in it.)
3 tablespoons capers, drained 

 

 

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar, red wine ( i had red wine with pomegranate, so that’s what i used.)
½ cup good olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 

The Process

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently for 10 minutesor until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil, and capers.

Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and fresh ground pepper.

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