Sunday, December 13, 2009
When we were in Italy in April 2008, I fell in love with Panzanella salad (Tuscan bread salad). I'd never had anything quite like it, and haven't since. Every place I order it has soggy bread or it's too bland. So I created my own without soggy bread, the freshest veggies, and just the right amount of texture. In Tuscany, though, you won't get it with cucumbers and it'll have basil instead of parsley. You will love this recipe!
1/2 loaf day old French bread
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cucumber, cut into bite sizes
1 container of mozzarella balls
2 T garlic
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until well coated. Let marinate at least an hour; can be kept overnight.
In a large skillet, warm up enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Cut the bread into bite sizes and, working in batches, cook on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to plate and season with salt and pepper. Do the next batch - you'll likely have to add more olive oil - until all of the bread has been toasted and seasoned.
Place the bread on the bottom of a medium-sized platter. Using a slotted spoon, place the marinated veggies and cheese on top. Add the liquid from the bowl on top and around the sides, just enough to season the bread, but not make it soggy. Top with parsley for color and serve.