Panzanella. Fresh Tomato and Bread Salad

Every August and September we are swimming in garden fresh tomatoes from the garden, from multiple tomato deliveries from my neighbor, and abundance of tomatoes at the Farmer’s Markets.  All this tomato bounty really forces me to get creative with tomato recipes especially ones that use fresh off the vine garden tomatoes. This Italian salad called panzanella is one of those recipes that is made with lots of fresh tomatoes and crusty bread. Add a bit of garlic, some onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss in some good sourdough bread and you have a delicious tomato salad with the added feel goodness of bread. The bread soaks up all the juices from the tomatoes and flavors the bread so beautifully that one can eat multiple bowls of this delicious salad.

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For the salad to taste extra juicy make sure to use ripe tomatoes and be generous with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. This releases all the juices from the tomatoes giving a nice fresh tasting sauce for all the bread to soak up.

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Panzanella. Fresh Tomato and Bread Salad
4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh juicy tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves finely cut
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4-6 slices of sourdough bread

Directions:

  • In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  • Toast the sourdough slices in a toaster until golden brown and crusty.  Cut them into cubes.
  • Toss the bread in with the tomatoes and mix together. Make sure to coat all the bread. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes so the bread can absorb all the flavors.  The juices from the tomatoes, oil and vinegar will get into the bread making it spongy and delicious.
  • Serve right away or place in the refrigerator to serve later.

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