Scoring delicious containers of heirloom tomatoes at the produce market and Whole Foods always makes me feel like I am eating summer in every bite. Since the winter has been a rough one and spring is coming, I decided that a promise of summer would work well this week for Fennel Friday.
Panzanella is a Tuscan bread and tomato salad and its earliest iteration dates back to the 16th century! Tomatoes were not added until the 20th century and the variations on this traditional favorite are still ever evolving. Red onions are my preference for this salad but I make it without as often as I do with onions. I love putting fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese in mine to add a creamy note. I also like my bread toasty and crunchy versus too soggy.
My secret #FennelFriday ingredient in this recipe is the Citrus Fennel Sea Salt which is one of my FAVORITE products from Pollen Ranch. The Citrus Fennel Sea Salt elevates every recipe where I use it. It is a gorgeous blend (and Certified ORGANIC!): Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen,Fleur de Sel (Sea Salt), Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass, Pepper Mix.
Are you ready to get salty? Try out some of the Fennel Pollen salt blends by using coupon code HGEATS when shopping at Pollen Ranch to receive a 10% discount.
What recipes remind you of summer? Are your food cravings shifting to lighter and “springier”?
Panzanella Heirloom Tomato Salad with Citrus Fennel Pollen Recipe
4 cups tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used a variety of grape, heirloom, etc)
4 cups crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes*
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
Handful of arugula per bowl/plate
2 tablespoons Citrus Fennel Sea Salt
Take the chunked bread and toss into a skillet over medium heat with some EVOO and Citrus Fennel Pollen Sea Salt. Toss until golden brown and a bit crusty.
Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, basil and about ¼ cup EVOO to bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over veggies. Add 1 tablespoon of Citrus Fennel Sea Salt. Add crusty bread and toss again and allow to sit for approx 30 minutes at room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve on handful of arugula. Buffalo Mozzarella and onions make great additions as well!