Summer Panzanella Salad

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This all started when Matt and I got a baguette at the farmer’s market. It looked too good to pass up. But I always forget how difficult it is to eat a whole baguette with only two people. Every time we get one, it goes a bit stale before were able to finish it. This salad is perfect for that slightly stale bread! Although you definitely need a sharp knife to cut the bread into cubes, sauteing the bread revitalizes it- I actually preferred it to the fresh baguette we got on the first day.

I didn’t change too much from the original recipe by Ina Garten except for a few changes in the vinaigrette and modifications to the ingredients. It’s easy, delicious, and is a great way to highlight all the vegetables available during the summer.

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Summer Tomato & Bell Pepper Panzanella Salad

Adapted from Ina Garten
Servings 4 servings
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 baguette or whole wheat bread of choice should be quite hearty and have a crunchy crust!, cut into 1’’ cubes
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar I’ve also done rice vinegar when I didn’t have champagne on hand and it worked well; you just need to add a bit more olive oil as the rice vinegar is a bit stronger in acidity than champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil high quality if possible **see note below on ratios!
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • big pinch black pepper
  • 2-3 small heirloom tomatoes of any color the more color the better, diced into 1’’ cubes (remove seeds to not become too watery)
  • 1 large cucumber diced into 1’’ cubes
  • 2-3 bell peppers of different colors preferably red, yellow, or orange, diced into 1’’ cubes
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thinly
  • large handful of basil leaves chopped lightly

Instructions

  • Place a large pan over medium heat and coat bottom of pan with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). When hot, add in bread cubes and saute until lightly toasted and browned. I think you could try grilling this as well, but I haven’t tried that out (yet!).
  • Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Mix champagne vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mustard, sea salt, and pepper in a blender until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
  • Place all the vegetables and toasted bread in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss throughly and serve. I found it best to serve immediately so the bread stays nice and crispy.

Notes

**I personally like my dressings on the more acidic/vinegary side of the spectrum (a 1:1 ratio). When making this for guests, I often will add more olive oil than I do more myself (a 2:1 ratio). I recommend dipping a piece of bread or a veggie in the dressing to taste test before dressing the whole salad.

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