Monday, May 7, 2012

Bread Salad aka Panzanella

We are reaching that time of the year when tomatoes are at their peak and are itching to be used every day in every way. One of the dishes I love making with fresh tomatoes is bread salad. This is an old Italian dish that peasants created to use up old bread. It is a great summer salad because it doesn't have any mayo in it that would cause it to go bad. I like tossing in the bread just before serving so that it doesn't become completely soggy...but that is your call. This is a beautiful and very colorful dish that would be perfect for a meatless Monday meal or with a Greek marinated grilled chicken breast.

Bread Salad
6-8 slices day old hearty bread (I really like sour dough) cut into cubes
4 tomatoes, cut in 4 quarters then in half to create 8 chunks. I also like to use a combo of colors because they are so beautiful!
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1 cup cubed English cucumber
8 basil leaves torn into pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 avocado cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup feta crumbles (optional)
Salt and Pepper

In a large heavy bottom skillet combine the bread, 3 Tbsp of olive oil and a very generous dash of salt and pepper and garlic powder and toss to coat. Turn the heat to medium and cook the bread until it becomes crispy and lightly golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the bread cubes and serve.

Enjoy Y'all!

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