The bounty of summer fruits and vegetables is just intoxicating to me! Following up on the scrumptious Summer Napa Cabbage Wraps with Mackerel, Quinoa, and Summer Veggies, I decided to do a quickie Panzanella Salad (tomato and bread salad) to go with some grilled burgers and corn on the cob. So easy and SO good!
The traditional Panzanella is a summer Tuscan salad. Interestingly, tomatoes were not incorporated into Panzanella until the 20th century. I for one am delighted with the addition of tomatoes because they really add to the salad, especially as the natural juices soak into the bread. You are only limited by your imagination and ingredients on hand. I love to add cucumber for the crunch and summer flavors.
The preparation for this salad takes simply the time for chopping, grilling the bread, and then allowing the flavors to marry in the vinegar and oil for about an hour. Easy summer dinner!
I grilled up some burgers (half pound sirloin burgers, thank you very much) and boiled fresh corn on the cob and they were perfect complements.
Happy Summer! What are you eating and LOVING?
- 2 pints cherry heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1/2 large red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 medium buffalo mozzarella round diced/shredded
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup of Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 loaf of Italian bread (or baguette)
- butter or Olive Oil for bread
- salt and pepper
Rinse all of your vegetables and pat them dry. Chop tomatoes in half, dice the cucumbers, crush the garlic, shred or chop the mozzarella and add them all to a mixing bowl. Add the Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar and toss. Allow the vinegar and oil to soak in for at least an hour at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the flavors are marrying, cut the loaf length-wise and turn your grill/broiler on for your oven. Brush the bread with butter or Olive Oil and stick it under the grill/broiled until it is at the level of crunch and doneness that you like. Approximately 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into dice-sized pieces. I like to add the bread a few minutes before serving so it retains the crunch but still has a chance to soak up the juices a bit.
Serve and enjoy!