Basil Harvest : Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

I'm one of those people that uses bread as a utensil.  I think its an Italian thing (?) or maybe its just carb love, plain and simple.  When I eat a salad, I love a loaf of crusty bread or a pita or a roll to dip, fold the salad into and make a sandwich and then mop up the dressing.  As you may have guessed,  table manners are not my forte.

This classic Italian salad is one of my favorites, for obvious reasons stated above.  I also love an end-of-the-grocery week recipe.  No waste of the week's Italian bread and those tomatoes waiting on your kitchen sill, finally get to shine.

Heres what you'll need to serve 2 generously:

  • 1/2 loaf of Italian bread, preferably an older loaf about that has hardened a bit (aka "day old bread", cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, beefsteak, etc.)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of torn basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven 350 degrees, on a large baking sheet toss together cubed bread,  approximately 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Once combined, spread in an even layer and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool for 2-3 minutes

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, sliced onion, croutons, basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.

When the bread to greens ratio is 5 to 1, is it still a salad?

xo- Measure