Panzanella Salad

Adapted via SmittenKitchen
Serves: 8 to 10

For salad:
♦ Olive oil
♦ 1 rustic whole wheat loaf, halved and cut into 1-inch strips
♦ 3 bell peppers (one each: red, orange, and yellow), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
♦ 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
♦ 5 Persian cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch slices
♦ 1/2 large red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

For vinaigrette:
♦ 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
♦ 1 shallot, finely minced
♦ 1 tsp Dijon mustard
♦ 3 tbsp Sherry
♦ 1/3 cup good olive oil
♦ 1 /2 teaspoon kosher salad
♦ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the bread: Preheat oven to 350 defrees; place strips onto a baking sheet, and drizzle lightly with olive oil, turning over the strips to coat (lightly). Bake until toasted, anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes (checking regularly – some strip may toast faster than others depending on you oven; remove them accordingly). Allow to cool sightly, then slice the strips into cubes.

For the vinaigrette: whisk together all the ingredients (garlic through black pepper); set aside.

For assembly: In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, and basil. Add the bread cubes and toss. Slowly add the vinaigrette in batches, tossing lightly with each addition. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes so the flavors blend, and serve.

Read more about this dish and my musical pairing by clicking HERE.

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