Thursday, August 14, 2008

Panzanella (or Stuffing Salad!)

I was really excited when Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen chose Panzanella for this week's Barefoot Blogger's entry. I've eyed this recipe countless times in my Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook and just never got around to making it. This pick also seemed perfect for summer. We really enjoyed this dish. My husband was quite funny when he asked me about the "stuffing salad" I had made for dinner! One of my favorite things to eat in summer is tomato salad. One of the best parts of tomato salad is using bread to sop up the yummy vinegar/oil/tomato juice at the bottom of the bowl. This recipe combines the best of those flavors and a good combination of vegetables. I could eat a bowl of this salad for dinner all on its own. I halved the recipe since the original serves 12. This will be a summer menu staple in our house from now on. I served this salad with Ina's Butterflied Chicken recipe, the other August pick for the Barefoot Bloggers. The Butterflied Chicken review will post on August 28th! Trust me, you will want to make that recipe too!

Source: Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.


Joelen said...

Such a perfect salad for the summer to use up seasonal produce and good bread!

Melissa said...

Glad you two liked the "stuffing salad!"

Linds said...

I made both BB recipes together too and they are now new favorites in our house as well :)

Anonymous said...

Yum! Wish I would've done both BB recipes together - sounds like it was fab! :)