It’s no joke that it’s been hot as hell this summer. So hot that most days I’ve dreaded turning on the oven or stove, or even wanted to (watch the Husby) stand out by the grill. So when the week of the Too Hot to Cook Swap came around, the weather cooled off, of course. Regardless, I was looking forward to adding another no-cook recipe to my repertoire.
I was intrigued when I was assigned a recipe for Panzanella, a meal I’d never had before. I knew it was a bread salad but didn’t know much more about it nor did I know what to expect of the final product. While I didn’t particularly care for the damp bread, I enjoyed the flavors and the mix of the different vegetables made me feel like I was eating Summer in a bowl. The only changes I made were substituting cherry and sunburst tomatoes for vine-ripened since I had them to use, and I loved the additional pop of color they provided to the salad. I also added some diced prosciutto I had in the fridge. It’s something I would make again, only toasting the bread cubes rather than soaking them in order to more mimic croutons and give the salad a crunch that I felt it was missing.
- 1/2 Lb. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 Lb. Yellow Sunburst Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
- 1 Loaf White Country Style Bread, cubed and left out of it's bag for 1-2 days before using
- 3 Stalks Celery, sliced
- 1 Cucumber, halved and seeds removed
- 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 10 Leaves Fresh Basil, roughly torn into small pieces
- 8-10 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 5 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- 1/4 Cup Diced Prosciutto
Add the halved cherry and sunburst tomatoes to a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to drain their juices.
Place the sliced onions into a small bowl and fill with cold water until just covered. Sprinkle with salt and add a splash of the red wine vinegar.
Place the bread cubes into a bowl and add just enough water to cover. Allow to soften for 10 minutes, then squeeze the water out thoroughly from the bread and finely crumble into a serving bowl. Be sure to remove as much moisture as possible.
Drain the onions then combine with the tomatoes, celery, cucumber, parsley and basil in a small bowl and dress with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well then add to the bowl with the bread.
Mix well then top with diced prosciutto before serving.
Slightly adapted from Twelve, A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros
Recipe submitted by Ali, who just started a new blog over at Sparks From the Kitchen