Erin McFarland
July 11, 2014

You know what I love? Summer! You know what I don't love? Cooking in the summer! If you, too, aren't thrilled with the idea of salting dinner with your own sweat, it's time for plan B. Step away from the stove and ready your knife—we're making panzanella from now until October.

It's like clockwork for me. As soon as summer starts to get sweltering I get starry-eyed for the Italian bread salad. It's a kitchen sink sort of meal with an ingredient list of of only pantry staples and summer produce.

To prepare, chop up all of the veggies you couldn't resist buying at the store, throw in any fresh or dried herbs you have, give that day-old bread some new life (no toasting necessary!), toss with oil and vinegar, and as if by magic, you're digging into the type of meal you'd brag to your friends about after a vacation in Tuscany.

Even better, the leftovers make a great next-day lunch. Just make sure to pack the bread and herbs separately. Toss about twenty minutes before you're ready to eat so the bread can mingle with the vinaigrette without getting soggy.

If improv cooking isn't your game, here are our favorite panzanella recipes to get you started:Tomato PanzanellaBLT Panzanella SaladGrilled Steak Panzanella with Pickled VegetablesOkra Panzanella

Flavor Friday is a weekly column that explores trending flavors and off-the-wall ingredients you’ve got to try—even if just once.

You May Like