This hearty salad is a great way to use up stale bread. It’s also yummy and filling, so it makes a great lunch salad or a side salad with pasta. Of course, it’s at it’s best with the freshest of tomatoes and finest olive oil.
Nice ways to change up this salad including adding crumbled feta cheese, black olives or chunks of fresh mozzarella.
Panzanella Bread and Tomato Salad
Summary: This is best when tomatoes are at their best. Mix it up by adding some feta cheese or black olives.
- 5 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks (try mixing red and yellow tomatoes for extra colour)
- 1/2 cucumber (about 6-inches), halved and sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, slivered *see tip below
- 5 cups packed, cubed (1-inch/2.5 cm) day-old crusty Italian bread (ciabatta) (If you prefer your bread with a bit of crunch, cube and place on a baking tray. Bake at 400° F. for 5-10 minutes until lightly golden).
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, bread, cucumber, onion and basil.
- Dressing: In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss until well coated. Let stand a few minutes until bread absorbs juices.
- *Tip: To sliver basil, stack about 5 leaves at a time and roll tightly into cigar shape. Slice crosswise into slivers.
- Options: Nice ways to change up this salad including adding crumbled feta cheese, black olives or chunks of fresh mozzarella. If fresh basil isn’t handy, baby spinach or arugula would be good alternatives.
Number of servings (yield): 6