Sunday, August 30, 2009


Until now, I had never even tried this dish, but I am not hooked. Panzanella is a a vegetable and bread salad. This particular one is made with leftover ciabata bread I had. I toasted it up and can now say I like crutons. Not the kind from the grocery store though, just the homemade ones.

So even if you have declared in the pasts to be a crouton hater like me, try this panzanella recipe I've thrown together, you just might change your mind.(served with an herbed chicken)

The red onion in this thing gives it a good spice, then the balsamic vinegar makes it sweet. The perfect combination in my opinion.( I chose to toast the bread crumbs over the stove, but it can also be done in the oven.)

(The salad before I added the bread.)


2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper in one inch squares, optional
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ tsp dried basil
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6-8 slices thick country bread, torn into bite-size pieces

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic and basil. Drizzle with the 3 Tablespoons olive oil and the 3 tblsps vinegar and basil, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Toss bread with 3 Tbs oil and salt and toast for about ten minutes until crunchy. Mix with vegetables and serve immediately.

Mix it up:

Try adding some fresh basil, or using whole wheat bread. If you love yellow tomatoes, add those, it would be pretty.

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