It's bread... it's salad... it's bread... it's salad! Two words that don't typically go together, but we think should. And really, who's favorite part of their salad isn't the croutons? This recipe for panzanella, or Tuscan tomato bread salad is a great way to use up old bread and use all those tomatoes and peppers from the garden or farmers market. It's incredibly simple to make-- the hardest part is letting the salad rest for an hour while it absorbs the dressing.
To make the panzanella you will need: 1 baguette or loaf of 1-2 day old bread 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear or chop bread into bite-size pieces and coat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Spread bread in a single layer on a baking pan and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined. Place bread, tomatoes, peppers and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least an hour, or until the bread has absorbed the dressing. Garnish with more basil.