panzanella tuscan bread salad
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panzanella - tuscan tomato bread salad

Panzanella is a truly great summer salad. Brimming with tomato and basil good bread it makes a great side dish to almost anything. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 10 oz good quality white bread sliced about one inch thick
  • olive oil

For the panzanella

  • 5 medium tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 english or field cucumber peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 1/3 cup shredded basil plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil the best you have
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Prep the bread

  • Slice the bread. Brush with olive oil until completely coated. Broil, rotating your cookie sheet regularly until golden brown. Flip the bread and repeat. Watch it constantly. It goes from golden brown to black in almost no time.
  • Let the bread cool and tear it into one inch pieces.

Make the panzanella

  • Seed and dice the tomatoes. Peel, seed and dice the cucumber. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil into a bowl large enough to accommodate the bread as well. Season the tomato mixture with salt and pepper. Taste to see if you have it where you want it. Add more if needed.
  • Combine olive oil, garlic and red wine vinegar to make a simple dressing. Toss tomato mixture with dressing. Add the toasted bread and mix. Garnish with a bit more basil.
  • Or sprinkle the bread over the tomato mixture. Work it in a bit to get some dressing on it but keep the top dry. Enjoy and try not to think about the fact winter is coming.