Panzanella (pahn-zah-NEHL-uh) is an Italian bread salad. This version is based on the traditional combination of tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings. Fresh ingredients are key in making this recipe work.
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread (3 1-ounce slices)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced shallots
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
Place bread on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine tomatoes, shallots, oil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Stir in bread cubes and parsley. Serve immediately.
I used all fresh ingredients: parsley and tomatoes from the garden, and homemade bread. I added some fresh garlic, and used red onions instead of shallots. Overall, the recipe was a winner at a July 4th cookout, but I think it needed more zing. Next time around, I'll start with a different recipe, or add more of my own tweaks.