Spring is approaching and flowers are starting to bloom. Tomatoes and that epitome of summer salads, the Caprese Salad, is right around the corner.
Wait, I thought this post was titled Panzanella? you’re asking yourself. Well, this is a Panzanella because it has stale bread and tomatoes, and could also be called a Caprese salad as we’re using tomatoes and mozzarella in it, and adding a bit of a twist. Panzanella is the Italian version of a bread salad, usually made with some stale bread. You can improve upon it by toasting the bread or frying it in a little olive oil.
You don’t have to wait for summer to make this salad. If you recently made oven roasted tomatoes like I did, you’re off to a great start. These are a great way to have delicious tomatoes any time of year. You can use these for the salad, but if you don’t have them around, feel free to use cherry tomatoes too!
I like to make items that I can use in multiple dishes, and oven roasted tomatoes are just one of those items. Throw in some day old bread and mozzarella balls, you can enjoy this salad anytime. Add some garlic oil leftover from making garlic confit, and it gets even better!
You’ll love how the bread soaks up the dressing, and with a touch of balsamic vinegar, it will wow your taste buds. Along with the intense flavor of oven roasted tomatoes, you can enjoy the chewy bread and soft mozzarella. Be sure to use a hearty baguette, pain de campagne, or rich sourdough.
I like to toast my bread a little bit before dressing it, for that extra flavor.
To make cutting your basil into nice, fine strips, take several leaves and roll them up like a cigar. Then, cutting crosswise starting at the top of the roll, slice cleanly through. Continue on down the roll of leaves and you’ll have beautiful julienned basil.
With a quick balsamic vinaigrette to add an additional kick, this salad is sure to be a hit.
Let us know how you liked it in the comments please!
- 16-20 oven roasted tomato quarters
- 1/2 lb Perline mozzarella balls or mozzarella cheese, chopped into bite size pieces, 8 oz
- 10 leaves fresh basil thinly sliced
- 6 slices thickday old bread preferably baguette, cut into bite size pieces
- 6 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil or garlic oil from our garlic confit
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- juice from one lemon
Sprinkle your bread with a bit of olive oil, and toast gently. Or pan fry the bread on low heat until it browns just a bit.
Mix together the tomatoes, mozzarella, bread and basil in a large bowl.
Season well with salt and pepper and toss.
Prepare dressing by whisking together the vinegar, lemon juice and oil. Pour over the salad. Toss well.
Allow to sit 30 minutes before serving, toss once more and serve.
Try using garlic oil from the garlic confit recipe, it adds another amazing layer of flavor.