It’s Friday, so a salad made of bread still counts as salad, right?
I’d say so! Plus, there are vegetables in this salad; it’s not just bread. You’ve got cucumbers, and peppers, and onions, and… okay, it’s mainly bread. But that’s a panzanella for you. In my books, it’s the best of both worlds: fresh veggies and heartwarming carbs. And who could forget the stunning blistered cherry tomatoes, whose juices ultimately become a part of the salad’s dressing? You literally need the bread in order to sop up all that goodness!
The staler the bread, the better…
Whenever you’re making any dish that requires soaking bread in liquid (be it French toast or this panzanella salad), it’s advisable that you use day-old crusty bread. That way, the bread absorbs all the flavours without becoming overly soggy. This is the ultimate way to use leftover, stale bread. However, if you don’t happen to have enough leftover baguette or ciabatta lying around, you can also use sandwich bread — just make sure it’s adequately stale, or toasted first. As long as the bread can stand up to the scrumptious, garlicky juices from the blistered tomatoes, then you’re solid. In fact, those juices are so juicy, that you may even deem a dressing unnecessary… but you’ll have to decide for yourself!
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ~5 c. cubed crusty bread (about half a baguette or ciabatta)
- ½ an English cucumber, halved and sliced
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), diced
- ⅓ c. sliced red onion
- ¼ c. chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- On a cookie sheet, sprinkle cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to make sure all the cherry tomatoes are seasoned (your hands are the best tool for this).
- Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they start to blister
- Once cooked, use a fork to pop all the tomatoes. Remove them from tray and replace with cubed bread. Move the bread around on the tray so it starts to absorb some of the juice from the tomatoes
- Place bread in the oven and toast for 8-11 min, or until golden brown
- In a large bowl, combine blistered cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and parsley. Add toasted bread and toss. At this point, you will see whether the salad is sufficiently dressed with the juices from the tomatoes. If you feel it needs more dressing, whisk together the dressing in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the salad.