Smoky Panzanella with Market Vegetables

Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes popular in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.  Shop The Cheese People for great tasting smoked mozzarella, our farm stand vendors for fresh vegetables and those artisan bread makers for your loaf of bread.

Ingredients

smokey panzanella.jpg
  • 1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)

  • 8 ounces cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved

  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/3-inch dice

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice

  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced into thirds on the bias

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cubed bread with enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat liberally, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the bread cubes in an even layer on one side of a large baking sheet.

  3. In the same mixing bowl, toss the diced peppers with some extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on the other side of the baking sheet.

  4. Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake until the bread is crispy and golden brown and the peppers have softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn't burn!

  5. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

  6. Once the bread is toasted, combine the bread and peppers with the smoked mozzarella, snap peas and tomatoes (you can use the same bowl you tossed the bread and peppers in). Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and add the torn basil leaves. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop..

    Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon Food Network