I made my first Panzanella a couple weeks ago and served it along side a piece of grilled salmon. I was planning on just serving the salad, then we invited a good friend over, who had recently told us a funny story about how his mother-in-law cooks one-dish-dinners and calls that the meal. So…silly, but I got a little self conscious and quickly grilled up the salmon, which was good. But not as good as the Panzanella.
Panzanella is an italian salad. Made with bread. A bread salad. What could be better than that!? I loosely followed a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. It turned out light and flavorful and with a little bite left in the bread. Delicious. I’m hungry right now and should go make some more instead of eating a frozen cookie dough ball from the freezer. Well, nobody’s perfect! Here’s the recipe:
4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cored
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
8 thick slices of good bread, day or two old
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (I used some from my porch…cool, huh?)
1/3 cup evoo
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper to taste
*I also added 1/2 red onion, chopped
Place cut tomatoes into a strainer with a bowl beneath it. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. Preheat the broiler. Rub the garlic clove across the bread and toast under the broiler. **i used a tiny spread of garlic butter instead of the garlic clove. Then I burned the bread and had to scrape the burn off. Don’t do that part!! When bread is browned and crisp throughout, cut into bite sized pieces and place in the bowl with the juice extracted from the tomatoes. Chop the tomato meat into smaller pieces. When the bread is soft, add tomatoes, herb, oil and vinegar*and red onion. Adjust seasoning to taste and enjoy!