A few weeks ago I shared the recipe for Italian Shrimp with Canellini beans. I loved the freshness of that recipe using fresh tomatoes that you can find all year round. As an accompaniment I also made this Panzanella Salad that reminds me of summer days. If you can find Campari Tomatoes at your grocery store, you will have the flavors of summer all year round with this simple yet flavorful salad. This is the perfect Italian Salad to compliment a lot of entrees especially Italian recipes.
Perfect Italian Salad Recipe: Panzanella salad
Panzanella Salad is not a typical salad, there is no lettuce. Instead of big chunks of wonderful veggies and big chunks of toasted bread, all drenched in a flavorful dressing. You can even dress it about 30 minutes before serving to all the flavors to marry.
Get the best bread you can find, it will make a difference to start off with a crusty bread that you toast additionally on the stove top. Beware if you family is like mine, they will start eating these homemade croutons before the salad is even assembled.
Now for the veggies. Cut up chunks of sweet peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes for this filling salad.
I like to make salad dressings in the glass cruet but use mason jars as well. You can really get a good shake versus whisking it in a bowl.
There is no rhyme or reason to assembling this Panzanella Salad. Just dump everything in and allow the ingredients to absorb the yumminess of the dressing.
Since there is no lettuce to wilt, you can also enjoy this salad the next day, assuming you have leftovers.
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 small loaf of Ciabatta Bread, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 5 , ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes Use Campari Tomatoes when out of season
- 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 3/4 cup fresh Basil, coarsely chopped
For the vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar
- 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
- 5 oz good olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 2 TB oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread ; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
- In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper,, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224 Saturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 86mg Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 2g