Panzanella is an Italian bread salad traditionally made up of leftovers. This simple panzanella salad is made with a base of toasted sourdough or ciabatta bread, fresh diced tomatoes, and a red wine & olive oil vinaigrette. Topped with fresh basil, this Panzanella is a perfect way to enjoy the fresh flavours of summer.
Chop the tomatoes into bit sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, toss to combine and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices (I use a toaster) and then tear into small 1" pieces. Set aside.
Gently strain and reserve the juice from the salted tomatoes into a measuring cup (you need the juice for the dresing). Then add the tomatoes to a large bowl. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk together the, tomato juice, shallot, garlic, dijon, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Add the toasted bread cubes and chopped tomatoes to the dressing mixture, then toss to combine. Season with fresh cracked pepper and chopped basil. Serve immediately.
*For toasting in an oven: cut it into cubes, give it a light coating of olive oil and bake in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes at 250'F, shaking the pan halfway through the cooking time. You can also toast the cubed bread in a large skillet with a small amount of olive oil over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Panzanella will last covered in the fridge for up to 2 days, however, the bread will have absorbed all the vinaigrette and will be quite soft. This salad is best served and eaten in the same day.
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