Panzanella – Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad

Panzanella - Tuscan Bread Salad

This salad makes a beautiful presentation and tastes wonderful.  It’s light and bright with fresh vegetables and herbs and made more substantial with toasted bread cubes.  This salad can be made with just the tomatoes, red onion, herbs and croutons if you like.  But very often it is made with those ingredients plus other fresh salad vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 french bread baguette
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (basil, oregano, thyme, or whatever you like)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters depending on size
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables, chopped in bite size pieces (cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, celery, zucchini, or whatever you like)
  • 2 teaspoons mild vinegar such as rice or white wine vinegar
  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the baguette into 1 inch cubes (leave the crusts on).  Spread out the cubes on cookie sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped herbs and sea salt to taste.  Toss to coat and then spread out.  Toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until just golden around the edges.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

To assemble, in a large glass serving bowl, add the tomatoes, onion, mixed vegetables, remaining herbs and toasted croutons.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with vinegar.  Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

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