Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Favorites- Panzanella

This is another recipe that I make all the time. Especially in the summer, when tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and basil are ripe and easy to find.

I first made this recipe last summer with the Barefoot Bloggers and I am so glad I did.
I always reduce the amount of oil and instead of sauteing the bread cubes in the oil, I drizzled the oil on the bread cubes and toast them in the oven- I do whatever I can to save a few calories here and there.

People are always a bit suspicious when I tell them I am making bread salad, which is a common name for this dish.
They quickly get over it as soon as they try it.


Panzanella adapted from Ina Garten
3 tablespoons good olive oil (I used 1 Tbls)
1 small French bread or boule, 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
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup good olive oil (I used 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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.
Instead of preparing the bread cubes this way, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. Then,I put the bread cubes on a jelly roll pan that was coated with cooking spray and drizzled 1-2 Tbls olive oil over the cubes. I tossed the cubes with the oil and put the pan in the oven for about 12 minutes, stirring the bread cubes once.
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.


Marie Rayner said...

Oh Yum! One of my favourite salads!! Yours looks great, but then everything you make looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I love panzanella. I love the colors in yours. YUM.