Tasty Tuesday: Panzanella Salad
1 loaf Crusty Bread
1 whole English Cucumber, Halved, Seeded And Sliced
6 whole Tomatoes, Cut Into Wedges or grape tomatoes, halfed
1/2 whole Red Onion Very Thinly Sliced
1 package cherry size mozzarella balls
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2-4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (some for bread and 2 TSBP for dressing to taste)
Salt And Pepper
½ cup whole basil leaves
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
*some people add red bell pepper, green olives and onion
*I add avocado
I put “salad” in quotations because the bread is actually tossed in with the salad so it seems more like a hearty plate.
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes, arrange on a baking sheet, and drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place the pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Watch out for burning!
Next, chop the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and throw in a large bowl. In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, vinegar (¼ cup olive oil, 2-3 TBSP vinegar), salt, and pepper. Pull bread out of oven, let it cool for a few minutes. Finally, add bread and mozzarella to bowl and pour the olive oil mixture over the salad ingredients, tossing gently. Add basil and Parmesan shavings and toss again. In theory, you are supposed to cover and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or two, I can’t ever wait that long! I serve immediately with a TALL glass of wine.