Summer is winding down but there is still time to enjoy the remaining days by eating tomatoes. Panzanella is one of my favorite ways to eat them. This classic bread salad is great for entertaining at home because it can be started ahead of time and finished at the last minute.
End of Summer Panzanella
2 servings as an appetizer
Preheat an oven to 400F
100 g. fresh country bread cut into 1″ cubes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Toss the oil and the bread so the bread is well coated, place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. It should have a crispy exterior and a soft interior.
15 g. shallot, minced
15 g. garlic, minced
30 g. cherry tomatoes cut into quarters (I like Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomatoes-they are very small and very sweet)
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. decent quality red wine
1/2 t. kosher salt
90 g. green heirloom tomatoes cut into 1″ pieces-save any juices (I like Aunt Rubie’s German Green)
90 g. red heirloom tomatoes cut into 1″ pieces-save any juices (Stick to larger beefsteak heirlooms like Black Krims)
6 basil leaves-I like Thai basil but any will do
4 T. extra virgin olive oil (Frantoia is good)
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. The salt will draw the juice out of the tomatoes. Let the ingredients rest together at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Add the bread and let it all rest together for another 20 minutes. Mix it well again and serve in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
This salad works well as a base for grilled fish, grilled chicken, veal cutlets and other mild flavored meats.
copyright 2015 Kevin Penner