Saturday, October 16, 2010
Panzanella (Bread Salad)
If you still have some garden-fresh tomatoes, this is a great use for them! We love this salad. It is so delicious and filling that we prefer to serve it as a main-dish.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis (Everyday Italian)
• 6-9 ripe tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds total), cored and scored on the bottom
• 12 ounces ciabatta or other country-style white bread, 2 to3 days old
• 2/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
• ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus whole springs for garnish
• 1/4 cup drained capers
• 1 cup drained roasted red bell pepper strips
• 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
Submerge the tomatoes into a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water to cool slightly. Using a small sharp paring knife, peel off the tomato skins. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Cut the crusts off of the bread (we actually prefer to leave the crusts on the bread—it makes for a more chewy salad). Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of the olive oil, 1/4 cup of vinegar, garlic, and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper to blend. Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, and sliced basil, and toss to combine. Set aside until the bread absorbs the vinaigrette, tossing occasionally, about 5minutes. Season the salad with more salt and pepper to taste.
Soak the capers in 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain. In another small bowl toss the roasted peppers with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the peppers with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Transfer half of the bread mixture to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass dish. Arrange half of the roasted peppers, drained capers, and olives over the bread mixture. Repeat layering with the remaining bread mixture, then the remaining roasted peppers, capers, and olives. Cover the salad and let stand at room temperature for flavors to blend, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the salad (if desired). Garnish with the basil sprigs and serve.