Panzanella

 


At the height of summer (and long after too!), there is nothing we love more than a bowl of panzanella. It's so refreshing and light, but also satisfying at the same time. The combined flavors of basil, vinegar, garlic, caper, and red onion just speak to me. We love this as a main course because we are two panzanella-devouring fiends, but it also goes really well with a simple roast or grilled chicken. 

Panzanella

(Adapted from Ina Garten)

For the panzanella:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small loaf of bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups total)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 20 large basil leaves, julienned or coarsely chopped
  • 3 rounded tbsp capers, drained 
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toss to distribute the olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F until lightly browned on both sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. 
  3. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together and pour over the vegetables. Ideally, let the panzanella sit for half an hour for the flavors to combine. 
  4. Just before serving, add the toasted bread cubes, and toss to combine with the juices. Serve immediately. 

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