Panzanella Salad

 

Tuscany is famous for their mouthwatering heirloom tomato and bread salad, also known as Panzanella. After traveling to Italy and eating these salads almost as frequently as I ate gelato, I arrived home craving the incredible flavors of Panzanella.

Gasp…I’ve recreated these flavors for you today! This traditional recipe features chunks of ripe tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, thinly sliced red onion, and chunks of Parmigiano-Regianno – a combination that will bring Italy to your home. A perfect dinner salad, this Panzanella will hit all your sweet, salty, and savory taste buds.

 

Makes: 4 dinner portions

The Ingredients

6 heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut in large chunks

2 packages romaine hearts, in bite-sized pieces

6 ears fresh sweet corn, off the cob

Small red onion, halved and in paper-thin slices

4 pickling cucumbers, in 1/2 inch slices

½ lb. Parmigiano-Regianno, cut into small chunks (or Grana Padano for a slightly cheaper, but just as delicious option)

2 cubanelle peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into strips

2 loaves bread boules (my favorite brand is Ecce Panis Neo-Tuscan Boules!)

~¼ cup good-quality red wine vinegar (a bit more if seems dry…aim for a 50:50 vinegar/olive oil ratio for this recipe!)

~¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling (a bit more if seems dry)

Salt and pepper

 

The Steps

In a large bowl, layer romaine, tomatoes, corn, onion, cucumber, and Parmigiano-Regianno.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Add more later in 50:50 ratio if you like more dressing!

For Cubanelle roasted peppers: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pepper strips on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast for about 45 minutes, until pepper are soft and shriveled.

For bread bites: Preheat oven on high broil setting and place oven rack on top shelf. Take boules, cut off the bottom crusts of both boules, and hollow out the inside of the loaves using your hands. Tear the hollowed-out softer center into 2 inch chunks. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top. Place cookie sheet on top wire rack of preheated oven. Let bread toast for about 4 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and flip bread bites so un-toasted sides are face-up. Put back in oven for another 3-4 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place roasted peppers in large bowl with other ingredients. Drizzle dressing from small bowl into the large bowl. Toss salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate salad, and top with bread bites along with some freshly ground pepper. Wow, wow, wow.

 

The Steps with Pictures

In a large bowl, layer romaine, tomatoes, corn, onion, cucumber, and Parmigiano-Regianno.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Add more later in 50:50 ratio if you like more dressing!

For Cubanelle roasted peppers: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pepper strips on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast for about 45 minutes, until pepper are soft and shriveled.

For bread bites: Preheat oven on high broil setting and place oven rack on top shelf. Take boules, cut off the bottom crusts of both boules, and hollow out the inside of the loaves using your hands. Tear the hollowed-out softer center into 2 inch chunks. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top. Place cookie sheet on top wire rack of preheated oven. Let bread toast for about 4 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and flip bread bites so un-toasted sides are face-up. Put back in oven for another 3-4 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place roasted peppers in large bowl with other ingredients. Drizzle dressing from small bowl into the large bowl. Toss salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate salad, and top with bread bites along with some freshly ground pepper. Wow, wow, wow.

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