© shoutingforha
I have been on a Panzanella kick lately.  The return of warm weather always puts me in the mood for lighter menu options.  In that regard, Panzanella is an ideal dish.  It's the perfect side dish to go along with summer's countless barbeques and makes a delicious light lunch.  
This recipe is courtesy of the one and only Ina Garten, a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa


1 small loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 6 cups)
olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 a small red onion, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

For the vinaigrette...
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. champagne vinegar (I've also used red wine vinegar)
1/2 c.  olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until toasted and golden brown.  

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, red onion, basil and bread cubes in a large bowl.  Toss to combine.  

Using a whisk, blend all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and pour over the vegetable/bread mixture.  Toss until everything is coated.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  

Allow the Panzanella to sit for 20-30 minutes before serving so that the flavors can combine.


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