The name of this delicious, easy to make Summer salad is panzanella.
Said with an Italian accent it sounds almost romantic - go ahead say it in your best
Italian accent, it's adorable.
When you see it being made, the bowl of wet bread couldn't be more unappetizing!
Panzanella actually comes from the word pantanella meaning 'little swap'.
In the picturesque hills of Tuscany, leftover bread is used in many dishes such as
bruschetta, crostini and the wonderful ribollita soup I enjoy making in Winter.
Panzanella salad is one of the mainstays of the long and languid Summer
luncheon, or supper under the pergola in the flower-filled garden.
The quality of the ingredients are what make it delicious.
Panzanella (Tomato & Bread Salad)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz stale white Italian bread cut into 2" chunks
About 6 cups of cold water
3-4 medium size ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion sliced thinly
1 cup fresh basil leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
Cook to Cook: Use only sturdy crumbed white Italian bread such as
ciabatta or foccacia - not fine crumb wheat or whole grain style breads.
You can remove the crusts - I leave mine on.
Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in the oil
Place bread in a large bowl, add water to cover, and soak for 5 mins.
Drain well in a colander then squeeze bread to remove as much water as possible
Coarsely crumble bread back into large bowl
Add tomatoes, onion and basil, toss gently with enough vinaigrette to coat
Add salt and pepper to taste
Salad can be made ahead - cover and refrigerate. Let
stand at least one hour at room temperature before serving.
Leftover panzanella is good for another day or so.
The finished salad - we enjoyed it last evening with penne Gorgonzola - leftovers
will make a quick, tasty lunch today.