Friday, July 15, 2011
The weather has been outrageously hot the last couple days with temperatures reaching 100. When it's this hot the last thing I want to do is cook a hot meal. That's where recipes like this come in handy. A hearty, cold salad packed with flavor. This salad is very easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser.
I love panzanella, a rustic Italian bread salad with tomatoes and cheese and herbs. This dish is great with any kind of grilled meat or just on its own. Since the bread is the star of this salad, be sure to use a really good artisanal bread.
1 loaf good artisanal bread cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6-8 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion sliced thinly (I use a mandolin)
1/3 cup capers
1 cup fresh basil leaves roughly torn into pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped buffalo mozzarella (or feta cheese)
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 250 F. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to combine and evenly coat the bread with the oil. Bake for one hour until bread is lightly golden and crisp.
While bread is toasting, combine tomatoes, onion, capers, and basil in a large bowl. in a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil and sugar, then drizzle over tomatoes. When bread is finished, toss hot bread cubes with tomatoes and dressing. Add cheeses and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.