Sara Bir's Panzanella (Bread Salad)

Panzanella (Bread Salad)

Serves 6-8 as a side or main dish

Serve over mesclun greens and crumble some feta cheese over the panzanella if you plan enjoy this as a main dish.

  • 12 ounces sturdy artisan bread, tough or floury crusts trimmed in needed, cut into ¾ inch-cubes (about 10 cups cubes)
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cheery tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn into small bits
  • ¼-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Lay the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to sit at room temperature until a bit dry, about 2 hours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the red onion, bell pepper, garlic, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let sit for 30 minutes to and hour.

Fifteen minutes before serving, add the bread cubes, herbs, and olive oil and toss to coat. Taste and season with more salt or vinegar if needed (tangy sourdough breads won’t need the full amount of vinegar.) If the bread cubes are dry, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of tepid water and toss, or drizzle with more olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2009 Sara Bir.

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