Panzanella is one of the dishes I hoped to get around to making this summer, and when I saw Alexandra’s recipe, I knew I’d found the one I wanted to make. Good choice. This is delicious. A real keeper. I could eat this every day. In fact, there is a little leftover, and I’m really looking forward to having it for lunch.
I made it as a side dish, but this could certainly be a standalone dish. It’s served at room temperature – perfect for a summer meal. All of the vegetables for the panzanella are in season right now and came from my local farmers market. The basil came straight from my back yard.
- Sourdough bread, cut into 1″ cubes (about 3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 yellow squash, sliced on a diagonal
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes (use red, orange, or yellow for nice color!)
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 red onion, cut in 1″ cubes
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves, cut in strips
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 35 min
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out the chopped garlic, onion, squash, peppers and tomatoes and coat with one tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 15-18 minutes, stirring once, until just starting to soften and release juices.
In a large frying pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Toss in the bread cubes and season lightly with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the cubes are crusty and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
To make vinaigrette dressing, firmly whisk together all ingredients until blended. Season to your tastes with salt and pepper.
In your serving bowl, toss together the bread cubes and vegetables. Pour dressing over the bread and vegetable mixture and then set aside for thirty minutes to let it absorb the flavors. Before serving, stir in strips of fresh basil.
Makes 6-8 servings
Recipe reprinted with permission.