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Panzanella

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Yield Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta or other Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 pound red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound baby arugula
  • Pecorino cheese, crumbled

How to Make It

  1. Toss bread cubes with 1/4 cup olive oil to coat. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together 6 tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, shallots, and basil. Pour over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 1 hour.

  3. Sauté red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and rosemary in 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in beans, and cook until thoroughly heated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  4. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice; pour over fennel.

  5. Toss together croutons, marinated tomatoes, bean mixture, fennel, and arugula. Sprinkle with crumbled pecorino, and serve.

The Catering Company, Chapel Hill, North Carolina