Panzanella – Tuscan Bread Salad

by Marianna Gol

Very simple and tasty salad. If you can find tomatoes or cherry tomatoes of different colors, the salad will be so much more beautiful. Cucumbers and/or peppers can be added to this salad. Usually the idea behind any salad is to have as little extra liquid as possible. We like salads to be dressed at a very last moment to avoid the vegetables giving out too much juice. This one is the opposite. The more juice the tomatoes will generate the better the salad will be. The tomatoes need to be dressed and set aside before the croûtons are added.


INGREDIENTS

  • 5 med. tomatoes, Cut into lg. pieces
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 med. red onion, sliced into half rounds
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • rustic baguette, made into croutons
  • 5T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. dry oregano

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.T. prepare the croutons cut the baguette into medium size cubes (don’t go too small). In a separate bowl mix half of the olive oil with salt, pepper, dry oregano and crushed garlic. Mix the oil and spices with the bread cubes (the easiest way to do it is with your hands). Lay them in one layer on a baking tray. Lower the temperature to 170 and toast 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.
  2. Mix the tomatoes, onion and basil. Add the salt, pepper, vinegar and the remaining olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Right before serving, mix the croûtons in and let them soak the juice from the tomatoes.

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