There’s nothing I love more in the summer than panzanella with a nice glass of white wine. I discovered this Italian bread salad a few years ago, and I look forward to the weather getting warm every year so I can enjoy it, preferably near an open window with sun streaming in and a light breeze.
I’m not big on exact measurements and usually just adjust to taste, so I recommend you do the same! For myself, I used about 2/3 a demi baguette, 1.5 small tomatoes and probably about 12 ciliegine mozzarella balls (cherry tomato size), cut in half. I made too much, and will have soggy leftovers tomorrow!
Delicious Summer Panzanella
Italian bread, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces (day-old is best, but not required!)
Good extra virgin olive oil
Basil (dried will work but fresh will take this over the edge!)
*Don’t you even consider using regular grocery store tomatoes! Organic, local, heirloom, etc. is the only way to go!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix bread with enough olive oil to moisten (ugh, hate that word! But it really gets the point across, ya know?), and season with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Tonight, I actually used Stonehouse garlic olive oil which was fab, but reg. extra virgin and fresh garlic works just as well.
Spread bread on baking sheet and place in preheated oven for 5+ minutes, until bread is crispy but still chewy. Remove from oven.
While bread is cooling, chop tomatoes and mozzarella into bite-sized pieces. Mix a few glugs of olive oil with a splash of balsamic (I told you I’m not big on exact measurements!) and add basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Add bread and let sit for about 10 minutes, if you can stand it! You can also eat this immediately, but it’s nice to let the flavors mingle a little.
I recommend making a small amount, because 1) you’re not going to be able to stop eating it or 2) if you have any willpower whatsoever, the bread will get soggy. 🙂
Tonight, I enjoyed this with a glass of Handley Gewürztraminer, a great Gewurtz that isn’t too sweet. I’m a member the Handley wine club and anxiously awaiting their members BBQ in a few weeks. I’d also recommend Toulouse Pinot Gris or La Crema Chardonnay, my other current favorite whites!
What’s your quintessential summer meal?