Simple Summer Panzanella
Ok. This recipe is a bit of a cheater.
Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan bread salad made with crusty artisan bread, fresh tomatoes and herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You cube the bread and let it get stale and then toss everything together- the bread gets soft but not soggy as it sits in the dressing and tomato juices. I've made it in the traditional way and it's a really lovely process that results in a beautiful and tasty dish.
I'm all for slow living and making things from scratch and clipping the herbs from your own little kitchen garden but I've got 3 kids, 4 cats, a dog, a geriatric horse, laundry to fold, landscapes to paint and a business to run. I don't have time for a sweet little kitchen garden (someday!) but I DO have a beautiful box of produce from our local CSA farm and 20 minutes to throw something together for our 4th of July cookout this weekend. So I decided to #lazyhack my own version of panzanella.
I did a trial run this past Saturday and literally ate the whole bowl. So yummy and so easy...
Here's what you need:
1 ripe tomato (any kind, we used heirloom beefsteak from the farm)
A bunch of yellow cherry tomatoes
A bunch of basil, shredded
1 sweet onion or scallion bunch
1 bag of seasoned croutons (I used the Texas Toast brand bc yum)
1 container of fresh mozzarella balls
1 bottle of pre-made balsamic vinaigrette
Chop all the produce and sprinkle with salt. Toss with mozzarella, croutons and dressing. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld and croutons to soften (I don't recommend making more than a few hours ahead unless you like the bread really soggy). Make this for your next summer gathering and impress all your friends with your fancy Italian food.