Barefoot Bloggers – Panzanella

by Jessica on August 14, 2008

I was a little skeptical when I saw this week’s Barefoot Bloggers recipe. Bread Salad? I love bread (probably way more than I should), but mixed in a salad? It sounded weird to me. However, when I tasted it, I immediately fell in love! Thanks to Melissa of It’s Melissa’s Kitchen for choosing Ina’s Panzanella. This turned out to be such a lovely little salad and a perfect end to Summer. I definitely wouldn’t have tried it on my own! One suggestion… to keep the croutons from turning soggy, don’t let this sit for more than the recommended time of 30 minutes. I think the next time I make it (which will be soon!) I’ll only let it sit for about 15 minutes.


Source: Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten

3 tbsp good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 c)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (omitted)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (omitted)
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained (omitted)

For the vinaigrette:
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp Champagne vinegar (I used Rice Wine Vinegar)
1/2 c good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda August 14, 2008 at 4:27 am

Beautiful photos…like summer in a bowl!


2 Christine August 14, 2008 at 6:38 am

I am going to make this again and again. Perfect for entertaining. Your salad looks delicious!


3 BMK August 14, 2008 at 6:51 am

We really loved this dish too. Definitely a new summer staple for us. You captured the colors beautifully in your picture.


4 Veronica August 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

This is a new favorite in our house. Yours looks great…so colorful!


5 Suzie August 14, 2008 at 7:56 am

I found that if you bake your croutons instead of frying, they get drier and crisper, and don’t get soggy quite so fast. I love your picture.


6 joelen August 14, 2008 at 8:47 am

Beautiful dish and healthy too!


7 1freshstart August 14, 2008 at 9:13 am

I felt the same way about the bread. I toasted it up and made the salad into a bruschetta of sorts and it was awesome! The bread still help plenty of crunch. I just added your Crispy Chicken to my to-do list… that looks great!
~The Cat’s Pajamas


8 Rebecca August 14, 2008 at 9:31 am

I agree. I was skeptical about bread salad, but this is the perfect late-summer meal.


9 Kate August 14, 2008 at 11:03 am

What a pretty photo! I loved it too!


10 nbbride06 August 14, 2008 at 11:31 am

Crazy that bread is good in salad…who would have though?!? Glad you liked it!


11 cookingupafamily August 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Salad looks great. I like bread over lettuce in my salad now!


12 Aggie August 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm

It really is a perfect summer salad! Yours looks great!


13 Erin August 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm

That’s gorgeous. I want to try those potatoes from below also. They look almost to good to be true.


14 Suzy August 15, 2008 at 9:43 am

that looks summery and delish!!


15 Renea(MrsSchoon) August 15, 2008 at 11:31 am

Looks so good!


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