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  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad
  • Panzanella Bread Salad

Panzanella Bread Salad

Food | September 11, 2018 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  • 30
  • 12
  • Easy

PANZANELLA – a traditional bread salad guaranteed to please even the hungriest crowd.

I’m forever amazed by the way PANZANELLA BREAD SALAD elicits compliments from anyone who tries it. It deserves that praise based on how it delivers both pleasing flavours and an appetizing presentation, plus the large amount it yields is perfect when you’re hosting a large group.

Here are a few things that contribute to its popularity.

THE BREAD – I always use day-old bread for the recipe, and in fact, leave it uncovered on the counter the night before. Doing so ensures the bread holds its shape when sliced. You can use a sourdough bread or experiment with others like Italian white or focaccia.

A TOAST – I remember watching a friend make this salad where she toasted the sliced bread in the oven to crisp it up. That method works, but I much prefer the look and flavour of the grilled bread. You can do this well in advance of making the salad too if time is of the essence.

THE TOMATOES – Much of the success of this recipe will come down to the type and quality of tomatoes you use. I find organic heirloom tomatoes work best, and if you can assemble a few differing colours, even better.

Very important – don’t miss the key step of salting the chopped tomatoes to release the flavours and to get the juices flowing.

THE TOSS – This may seem a bit odd, but I do think a staggered approach to tossing this salad has its merits. Tossing the bread with the cukes, peppers and herbs gets things mixed nicely. Tossing the tomatoes next gets them and their glorious juice well-distributed. The final toss with the dressing makes sure every morsel of the salad is perfectly flavoured. No need to get too crazy; a gentle toss for each step will do.

SERVICE – Although some folks suggest making the salad hours or a day before serving, I’m not a fan. I think letting it rest just 15 minutes after the final toss is the way to go.

When ready to serve, place the salad into a large bowl and give it a place of honour on a buffet or send it straight to table along with salad plates so that guests can enjoy from a side plate – very attractive.

Looking for other wonderful dishes that go with this PANZANELLA BREAD SALAD? Try our CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE, our GRILLED WHOLE MARINATED CHICKENor our ASIAN STYLE SALMON. Each and all pair perfectly with this delicious salad.

Try our PANZANELLA BREAD SALAD and break bread in grand style tonight!

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Ingredients & Amounts

  • For the dressing:
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • For the salad:
  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes, different colours, cubed
  • 25 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise, cut into large chunks
  • ½ each orange and yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced then chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Smash the cloves of garlic, place them into a small bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes to infuse flavours
  2. Preheat the grill to 500°F. Cut the bread into ½-inch slices. Brush both sides of each slice with the garlic-infused oil. Place bread on grill, turning to toast each side. Remove bread from grill and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Strain the oil into a small bowl. Add the vinegars and mustard and whisk together. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle tomatoes with kosher salt and let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Assemble the salad: Place the cubed bread, cucumbers, peppers and red onion into a large salad bowl and toss lightly. Add the basil, parsley and tomatoes and toss again. Whisk the dressing before drizzling it over the salad and tossing a final time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.

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