Summer always seems to slip away, doesn’t it? August is nearly gone, and we feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of our summer checklist. Trip to beach in Michigan? Berry picking at a local farm? Guess it will wait until next year.
Luckily we have another month of tomato season here in Indiana, so we can continue to enjoy the tastes of summer at least. We ran across some lovely multi-colored cherry tomatoes and bell peppers at our local market, and were inspired to make a panzanella. If you’re not familiar, panzanella is an Italian bread salad that combines dried, crusty bread squares with fresh vegetables and a vinaigrette. It’s a genius idea for using up old bread, and extraordinarily delicious. You can use any fresh veggies you have on hand, but traditional ones are tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and sometime cucumber (though we did not use it here).
We used this recipe to help break in our new kitchen with some friends (a sneak peak is here, but we’ll be posting a series about the reno in several week). What’s your favorite summertime dish? Did you get to enjoy it this season?
- 3 cups crusty bread cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 bell peppers (one each yellow, red, green)
- ½ red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced)
- ⅓ cup chopped almonds
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Slice the bread into cubes. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer and bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice the bell peppers. Thinly slice ½ red onion. Mince 1 clove garlic. Thinly slice (chiffonade) enough for 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves. Chop ⅓ cup chopped almonds.
- In a small bowl or canning jar, combine remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, and garlic. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and whisk together (or shake the jar vigorously).
- In a large bowl, combine chopped vegetables, dressing, almonds, basil, and toasted bread. (If making in advance, add toasted bread, basil, and almonds last to avoid becoming soggy.) Serve around 20 minutes after assembling. (Leftovers are delicious, but bread will become soggy after a few hours.)