Autumn may be right around the corner, but here, it’s still summer at the farmer’s market. I’m cramming as much of the summer produce in as I can before it all slips away.
Today, I made tomato bread salad – freshly picked vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, fragrant basil, tender green beans, and cubes of crusty bread in a garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
I remember the first time I tried the salad, I thought the bread cubes was an odd soggy-sounding ingredient. But it’s actually really good! They’re sorta like giant croutons but softened from being soaked through with the flavors of the dressing and tomato juice.
Recipes for tomato bread salad also known as Panzanella abound online, I modified this one from Gourmet. It’s so simple and basic, it’s absolutely imperative to only use the highest quality ingredients.
Super easy to make and vary with other summery ingredients, such as corn or cucumber if they’re available. I’ve even tossed in small chunks of Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Style Wedge. Oh my gosh.
Tomato Bread Salad
2 cups crusty bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes (optional, toast or grill the bread before using)
1/2 pound vine-ripened heirloom red tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1/2 pound vine-ripened heirloom yellow tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
Handful of fresh French green beans, trimmed and blanched
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, bread and green beans. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar and oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Add the basil and salt to taste, mix well and serve.