Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Panzanella

Annnndddd..... I'm back. I've been trying a bunch of new recipes, but a number of them have been so mediocre that I felt it would be a disservice to share. (Maybe I'll throw together an outtakes post...)

Others have been placed in a "made, but not blogged" file, to remake, photograph, and share because they were delicious, but I just didn't get a chance to capture their loveliness with the camera.

But this, my friends, was a lovely summer salad that I had to share immediately. This was dinner tonight and was the perfect way to use up some farm market veggies. Imagine this: Crusty ciabatta croutons infused with a Dijon and garlic champagne vinaigrette, tossed with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, thinly sliced red onions, yellow peppers and a sprinkling of fresh basil.

Summer on a plate. Divine.

Panzanella
Serves 6
Ingredients:
  • ½ loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1" cubes (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, and seeded, sliced ½" thick
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded cut into 1" cubes
  • ¼ red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 10 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped or julianned
For the vinaigrette:
  • ½ tsp. finely minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1½ Tbsp. champagne (or white wine) vinegar
  • ¼ c. good olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and bake for 8-9 minutes, stirring cubes halfway through baking. Set aside.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together.

In a large bowl, combine the vegetables and basil. Add bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about a half hour to allow the flavors to blend.

Source: adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties!

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