Panzanella (Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad)

This is a good basic Tuscan bread salad recipe. I'd recommend a little more bread to be more authentic, and it's very important for the bread to be stale. The point of the recipe originally was to make use of stale bread that was too hard to eat. If you use fresh bread, it will probably turn out too soggy and mushy.  Check out Wild Flour for their bread--although at our house, their bread does not last long enough to get stale. Cucumbers are also traditional and a splash of balsamic vinegar to give more depth.   Right before serving, shave some parmesan cheese on the top.  Shop the market for these ingredients and enjoy! Ingredients.

  • 4 large vine ripened tomatoes, cut into large cubes or wedges
  • 1/2 pound stale country-style Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 8 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced red onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Italian extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stems removed, washed and spun dry, turn into pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bread, and onions.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar and oil. Pour the dressing over the bread salad and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add the basil and salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse