Easy Summer Salad – Italian Style!
Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad that gives new life to stale rustic bread when combined with just a few fresh ingredients. It takes minutes to prepare and is best served at room temperature.
- 8 oz. day-old crusty bread (French or Italian, for example)
- 3 or 4 small ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1/4 medium onion (red or sweet)
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. torn fresh basil leaves
1. Carefully trim any hard crust from the bread. (A sturdy cutting board, a sharp serrated knife, and a good grip on the bread along with careful cutting help with this step.) Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes.
2. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Chop the cucumber into 1 inch cubes; thinly slice the onion.
3. Place the bread and vegetables in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the oregano and salt; drizzle with the vinegar and oil. Stir the mixture, turning the bread and vegetables to coat them with the dressing.
4. Let the salad sit on the counter for about 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the tomato juices and the dressing. Just before serving, add the basil leaves and toss gently. Refrigerate any unused portions.
Serves 4 to 6.