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Panzanella Salad (and a failed Menu Monday)

Jul 18, 2011 07:53PM ● Published by Anonymous


The reason I failed Menu Monday is because I was so focused on this weekend's Saturday Night Dinner. My aunt, uncle, cousin and husband were in town from Minnesota, and they visited our home for dinner. If you know me, you know that I love a good dinner party. I had been planning this menu for AGES, but still managed to make a few last-minute substitutions. One thing I knew I was going to make, however, was Panzanella Salad. This delicious blend of tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella, and homemade croutons is a fantastic side dish, but as I was making it, I was struck at how gorgeous it looked, too. The mixture of both red and yellow tomatoes, green cucumbers and olives, purple onions, and tan bread really made for a rainbow salad -- beautiful for summer dinner parties.

Panzanella Salad
This recipe served six with enough leftover for my lunch today

3-4 tomatoes, diced (any color -- I used traditional red tomatoes and yellow sunsets)
1 cucumber, diced
1 red onion, sliced
10 green olives, pitted and halved
2 cups French bread, cubed
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 container fresh mozzarella balls
1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle garlic over it. Bake until golden and crispy.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil, cheese, and olives in a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, and drizzle over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Right before serving, add the homemade croutons.

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