Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that cleverly uses up stale bread by tossing it with tomatoes, onions, olive oil and other good stuff. If I were to compare this to an Indian recipe, bread upma will be the closest match. Panzanella is the perfect salad to incorporate summer’s produce in one good meal. Day old crusty bread like a loaf of French bread works best for this recipe. This recipe adapted loosely from Ina Garten comes together in less than 20 minutes and makes for a great summer potluck dish.
1/2 loaf French bread, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil ( I used Koroneiki, which has good flavor and aroma)
1 teaspoon salt
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 small yellow peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
10 basil leaves, chopped
For the dressing
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 2 small limes
1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add cubed bread and salt, cook over medium heat and toss frequently until nicely browned.
2. Mix all the ingredients listed under dressing and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, place all the vegetables and basil. Add bread cubes and dressing and toss well.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Let the salad sit for 30minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.