Saturday, August 16, 2008

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. The Italians created it to use up their old bread. I'm a major crouton lover, and bread lover for that matter, and this is wonderful if it sits a little so the croutons can soak up the dressing. Great way to use up all that great summer produce coming in! (Picture courtesy of Kahakai Kitchen)

3 T olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained (not a must unless you totally love 'em)

1 t finely minced garlic
1/2 t Dijon mustard
3 T Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

-For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

-In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

-Serves 12

No comments: