The Best Recipe for Summer Panzanella
So it's summertime, and you've been invited to a get-together, a party, a shin dig, bbq, hoopla, however you roll, and you've been asked to bring a dish. "Hmmmmm" you think to yourself. "What can I bring that's impressive, delicious, and super easy to prepare?" Summer Panzanella! It's the answer to all of your hopes and dreams. It's fresh, it's full of vegetables, and it will be a hit I promise. Best part of this recipe, it's like a starting point for your culinary imagination. As you wander the produce section or local farmer's market, grab whatever looks good, whatever looks fresh. Anything flavorful and colorful can go in. I chose my summertime faves to change it up. Let's start at the beginning......
I spotted these beauties and knew they were destined for panzanella. Along with their good buddies fresh mozzarella and basil, you can't go wrong. Especially in the summertime. So I've always made panzanella because, well, duh. Bread, tomatoes, etc. Need I say more? And during the summer there's a plethora of seasonal veggies, so I made a few adjustments and came up with this Summer Panzanella. And it was delightful. Here's what you'll need:
1 loaf Italian crusty bread
3-5 tomatoes (depending on size)
1/2 of a cucumber
1 orange bell pepper
8 oz fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup katamala olives (pitted)
1/2 cup frozen corn
handful of basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
Yum. Am I right? So to start, chop all the vegetables (EXCEPT THE AVOCADOS) into cubes about the same size. You want every bite to have some tomato, some cheese, some cucumber.....it's better that way, trust me. Save the avocados to add right before you serve it, as they will turn brown over time.
Toss all of the vegetables (EXCEPT THE AVOCADOS!) into a large bowl, the olives can be sliced into smaller pieces. For the scallions, use the green and white parts, it's all flavor! And for the basil, I do a rough julienne by rolling the leaves together lengthwise, then cutting (with kitchen scissors) long confetti of basil to finish off the amazing tastes and aromas coming from the bowl. Over the top, drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of really good extra virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and lots of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also add about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. I feel like fresh garlic is too strong for this salad, but have a garlic party if you love the garlic! You don't need to overdress these ingredients, remember the tomatoes and cucumbers will macerate and produce a lot of water. At the end, you can add more liquid if it looks dry.
And now, for the bread!
My favorite part, by far, the bread. My daughter loves to help with this part, mostly because she eats more bread than she actually rips up. But hey, glass houses right? So I cut the bread into cubes, and hand a chunk to the little one and tell her to rip it up! Lay it out on a baking sheet, and (generously) drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the bread. Toss it up to coat evenly, and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until it's crispy golden brown. Yum!
Once the bread is done, put it into a large ziploc bag to keep it fresh. Just before you are ready to present this lovely bowl of summer time splendor, combine the vegetables, bread and the avocados and taste for seasoning. It may need more salt and pepper, or a dash or two of extra virgin olive oil. Be careful not to over-mix, the bread and avocados can start to get mushy and coat the rest of the ingredients, which is not pretty. But what is pretty is this bowl of YUM! Stay tuned for Autumn Panzanella....
Diapers and Dogfood Blog
I'm Jen, mama to the most incredibly adorable pumpkin in the world. Please allow me to share my experiences about life, and running to the store for diapers & dog food. All. The. Time.