Paula Nemzek for KCTS 9 Cooks
Panzanella is a Tuscan salad of bread and ripe tomatoes, and this version is one of our favorite summer meals. At a potluck table, a few people cautiously tried a bite, word spread, and it disappeared instantly. Great with any small tomatoes fresh from the garden.
Serves 6 to 8 as a dinner salad
Cut bread into 1 inch or bite-size cubes. Put the cubes into a large plastic bag, add spices and olive oil, and shake to coat. Lay the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven until they begin to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool before adding to the salad. (If you’re in a hurry, you can add to the salad after just a few minutes, while still warm.)
Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a very large salad bowl. Toss with most of the dressing, add toasted bread, toss again and add additional dressing if necessary. You may add tuna or hard-boiled eggs for extra protein.
Timesaver Tip: This recipe involves a lot of chopping, so, if you don’t have kitchen helpers, slice olives and onions and drain garbanzos the night before, and store them in the fridge in separate plastic bags.