Panzanella Salad

July 20th, 2010

The only vegetables thriving in our garden right now are the tomatoes.   We have had very little rain so the squash and cucumbers have succumbed and the pepper plants are not producing blossoms.  In the spring the garden shows so much promise, but the vagaries of summer can dash one’s hopes for a bountiful harvest.  But the tomatoes are beautiful and we have been enjoying them on sandwiches and on toast for breakfast.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes is in a panzanella salad and as luck would have it the Barefoot Blogger founder, Tara of Smells Like Home, has chosen one of Ina Garten’s panzanella salads as one of the BB recipes of the month.  She chose Ina’s Greek Panzanella and you can go here for the recipe.  That recipe includes calamata olives and feta cheese.  I chose to do Ina’s standard panzenlla salad which has no cheese, but lots of fresh garden vegetables, warm croutons to soak up the juices, and a garlic and mustard vinaigrette.  By the way I want to thank Tara for keeping the Barefoot Blogger’s website active and for tracking the 198,593 Friday night dinners we have cooked for Jeffrey.   You would think he would thank us.
I would also like to include this recipe in the Two for Tuesdays blog hop.  We are a group of bloggers who post about Real food and stress the importance of local, fresh, and unprocessed food.  Check out Girlichef’s blog for a listing of all of recipes for this Tuesday.
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread , cut into 1 inch cubes ( 6 cups )  I used a Sourdough baguette
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 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 half 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 (I used red wine 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 together the ingredients.
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 with salt and pepper.  Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Note:  If you are not eating the whole salad in one sitting, add only half the croutons to half of the salad and reserve the rest separately for a second serving.  This will keep the croutons crispy the second time around.

17 responses to “Panzanella Salad”

  1. That is a beautiful salad. Oddly enough, there are no cucumbers here. You always miss what you can’t have.

    Saving this for next month

    Will we ever see your David’s guest post of his pulled pork???

  2. Penny, I adore Panzanella salad. Only problem is, I eat all those wonderful croutons first. They’re the very best part.

  3. Looks wonderful Penny:D You can never go wrong with the Barefoot Contessa.

  4. bella says:

    Penny, Panzanella salad with garden fresh tomatoes is one of the best dishes for summer. Ina does it again and thanks for sharing! Roz @ La Bella Vita

  5. Barbara says:

    Well Penny, this is one of my favorite salads! I saw Ina make it and have served it to my family many time. I could eat it every day. She has been making one with feta, but I don’t like it nearly as well.

  6. girlichef says:

    Oh, Panzanella is one of my favorites, too. Hasn’t this been a crazy summer!? Extreme heat, fits of rain here and there but not “enough”. Ugh. Your tomatoes look gorgeous, though 😉 Thanks so much for sharing with Two for Tuesdays this week, Penny!!!

  7. Lyla says:

    Penny, I totally agree that Ina’s regular Panzanella is perfection. I’ve made her others, as well as Martha’s, Guiada’s, etc., but there’s something in the freshness and simplicity of this that works best for me. Your summer blogs are just what my family needs; both my husband and I thank you. What’s next?

  8. Bonnie says:

    I love Ina’s regular panzanella salad. Your tomatoes are lovely. I’m jealous. We had a wet cold spring and I’m just getting tomatoes on the plants, let alone ripe ones. I wait impatiently.

  9. Sage says:

    I have been wanting to make panzanella salad for a long time and after reading this; I truly tempted to try it. Our tomatoes won’t be ready for a few weeks yet. I printed it out; love all those vegetables; reminds me of my Greek Village Salad without the feta.

  10. That looks and sounds great! Our garden is doing well, because we are able to water it. Though I will say the zuchini have seen better days.

    Today I just made gazpacho from the tomatoes and cukes from our garden. I had to go buy the green pepper thought, ours are not ready yet. The gazpacho is in the fridge chilling.

  11. Beth says:

    Love the salad recipe and your tomatoes look beautiful! Thanks for sharing this at our Two for Tuesday blog hop!

  12. Christy says:

    Tomatoes are my favorite food – and on toast with mayo – is the ultimate, but when I want something a little more I will be trying out your panzanella! A great link for Two for Tuesdays – thanks!

  13. As a kid, we called this bread salad! lol I like the Panzanella, it sounds so much more gourmet! My garden is fading too, other than some tomatoes and a good crop of raspberries because I watered them! Very cool recipe and might try this for a weekend party! Thanks for sharing it on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! 🙂 Alex@amoderatelife

  14. Julie says:

    You make this look so good. I’m definitely making this someday!

  15. I have to love a salad that has croutons to soak up all of the great juices. You are so lucky to be blessed with such beautiful tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes are the best.

  16. Karen says:

    I’ve always wanted to make Ina’s Panzanella, but never have. I’ll have to remedy that when our tomatoes are ripe. Penny… do you just rely on rain for your garden? You don’t water it?

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