RECIPE: Panzanella salad
Now that the temperatures are warming up again, I only think of one thing: salad for dinner. Not just any salad, but a really tasty one. One that helps us meet our daily goal of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day. This bread and tomato salad is nice and fresh and summery, yet hearty enough to eat for lunch or a light dinner. Although it has a reputation as a Tuscan dish, bread salads are not uncommon elsewhere in the Mediterranean. And let's make one thing clear: panzanella is not a tomato salad with bread; it is a bread salad flavored with vegetables. To make this dish a hit, take some pretty good tomatoes, the only type of tomatoes that this salad should actually be made with.
Ingredients for 4 people
500 grams cherry tomatoes and 4 large heirloom tomatoes or regular tomatoes (as long as they are intense)
1 small Italian-style sourdough bread (such as ciabatta)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small red onion or 2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
1 ball fresh mozzarella, drained and torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, for drizzling handful
fresh basil leaves, torn or cut into ribbons
- Preheat the oven to 250°C. Slice the tomatoes and place them in a colander over a bowl.
- Season with salt and mix gently to combine. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Then make the croutons. Cut (or tear, for a more rustic presentation) bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the bread cubes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
- Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden brown but still tender, about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Remove from oven, and let cool. To make the vinaigrette, set the seasoned tomatoes aside and add the onion, garlic, vinegar, mustard, and ¼ cup olive oil to the bowl of tomato juice. Beat well to emulsify and season.
- Return the tomatoes to the bowl and add the toasted bread and mozzarella.
- Toss to coat and let stand until the bread has absorbed most of the vinaigrette.
- Just before serving, add the basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Do you want to give this salad an extra something? We like to work with or with a bunch of grilled cherry tomatoes.