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Panzanella Salad

Special.Fork's picture
This rustic, Tuscan bread salad is everything I love about summer. It takes advantage of all the garden-fresh vegetables the season has to offer to make a summer salad that is just as visually pleasing as it is delicious. Panzanella is very easy to make and great to take on picnics or to the beach. It also makes a lovely main dish for casual dining among friends. Big chunks of toasty croutons are a signature ingredient of panzanella. It’s a great way to use leftover bread.
Ingredients
  Olive oil 3 Tablespoon (for cooking)
  Baguette 1⁄2 Large, cut into large cubes
  Garlic 1 Clove (5 gm), mince
  Dijon mustard 1 Teaspoon
  Salt To Taste
  Cracked black pepper To Taste
  Champagne vinegar 1 1⁄2 Tablespoon
  Olive oil 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (use a good quliaty one, for dressing)
  English cucumber 1⁄2 Large, cut into large dice
  Red bell pepper 1⁄2 Large, seeded and cut into large dice
  Orange bell pepper/Yellow pepper 1⁄2 Large, seeded and cut into large dice
  Red onion 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chopped
  Tomato 1 Large, seeded and cut into large dice
  Fresh basil leaves 15 Medium, torn into small pieces
  Capers 3 Tablespoon
  Feta cheese 1 Cup (16 tbs), crumbled
Directions

MAKING
1. Heat a sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add cubed bread and toast about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once the bread is golden on all sides, transfer to a sheet pan or large plate to cool.
2. To make dressing in medium bowl combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and whisk to incorporate all the ingredients. Then slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a steady stream while whisking; this will emulsify the dressing.
3. In a large salad bowl, add all the vegetables, basil, capers, feta cheese, and the toasted bread.
4. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to mix well.

SERVING
5. The salad can be served immediately or let it sit for up to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. This can be served as an appetizer or even as a side dish.

TIPS
Don’t use bread that’s more than two days old because as the bread dries up, it will become very difficult to cut.

When you have leftover bread, cut it up into chunks before it gets rock-hard, and store in an airtight plastic bag until you are ready to make your salad. Heat up some olive oil, toast the bread, chop the vegetables and enjoy this fresh and simple summer dish>

Panzanella is meant to be rustic so don’t worry about cutting everything uniformly.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Very Easy
Cuisine: 
Tuscan
Course: 
Side Dish
Method: 
Tossed
Dish: 
Salad, Bread
Restriction: 
Vegetarian, High Protein
Preparation Time: 
25 Minutes
Cook Time: 
5 Minutes
Ready In: 
30 Minutes
Servings: 
2

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