Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Panzanella- Italian Bread Salad

I spotted this recipe when I first was looking through my "Our Best Bites" cookbook, and knew I wanted to make it as soon as I got my hands on some delicious summer tomatoes.  Thanks to our tomato-gifting friend, I was able to make it last weekend!  :)  I left out the fresh mozzarella, only because I didn't have it.... I will have to include it next time!  It was very good, and my little 4-year old kept sneaking the bread cubes as he was watching me make dinner.

One thing about Panzanella- I perused a few recipes online and some said to let it sit 30min- 3 hours before eating.  Well, I made this salad first, and then made tomato soup.  In the time it took for the tomato soup to cook, the bread cubes were all soggy, and not in a really good way.  It was still good enough, but I tasted it while it was fresh, and I definitely prefer it fresh.  So..... make and serve right away! 
from Our Best Bites Cookbook
recipe scaled down to about half

4 cups French bread cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil (or use olive oil spray, like Misto)
1 small-medium cucumber, peeled (if desired), seeded, and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (I didn't have)
3 Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion, choped
3/4 c. fresh mozzarella, cubed
Handful of Basil, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
Kosher Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Toss the bread cubes with 3 Tablespoons olive oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool to room temp.  (I just layed out my bread crumbs on a baking sheet and lightly sprayed them with olive oil using my Misto). 

2.  Combine the veggies, cubed mozzarella, and basil in a large serving bowl.  Set aside. 
3.  Place the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Seal the jar and shake vigorously until combined.  Pour over veggies and add bread cubes.  Combine well.  Serve immediately.  (Or if you really want, let sit for 15-20 minutes like the original recipe indicates, but be prepared for a bit of sogginess!)
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **


Linda said...

I've been wanting to make panzanella for the longest time but was always held back because I didn't want to let it sit, for the same reason you noted - soggy bread. Since you suggested serving immediately to avoid that, I feel good about it. :) And yours looks really good.

Do you like that cookbook?

What A Dish! said...

I do like it, Granns. I've already made a ton of recipes from it. The binding stinks on it, though. The pages have come apart completely from the binding. The pages are all together though, so it's not too bad, it was just annoying, since it was only like 2 weeks old when it happened.