Friday, July 6, 2012

Panzanella Salad

I know this recipe isn't exactly original or innovative.  Recipes for panzanella salad are everywhere.  Some add bell peppers, capers, olives or cheese, but all of them are made with bread, tomatoes, basil and cucumbers.  We didn't try for anything new and exciting here - we just went with the staples and made ourselves a standard panzanella salad, although we used a lemony vinaigrette, rather than red wine vinegar, which I tend to find a little harsh.  And then we added some seeded and minced jalapenos for a little something new.  I really enjoyed it.  But I love bread, tomatoes and basil.  And what could possibly be better at the height of summer?

Recipe after the jump!

Panzanella Salad

1/4 cup basil evoo
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tsp jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 loaf rustic crusty bread (we used Pugliese bread), cut into 1/2-inch slices, drizzled with evoo and toasted
1 garlic clove, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

Stir together basil evoo, shallot, jalapeno, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Season to taste with s&p.  

Add tomatoes and cucumbers.  Toss to combine.  Rub toasted bread with cut sides of garlic clove.  Cut or tear into 1 to 2-inch cubes.  You should have 2-3 cups of toasted bread.  Add bread and basil leaves to bowl with tomato mixture.  Toss to coat. Season panzanella to taste with s&p and serve.

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