Inspired by my first Panzanella salad in Rome
Traditionally this dish is made with stale bread (which is a nice way to keep food from going to waste!), but I prefer fresh.
I don’t often feast on a dish made mostly of bread, so when I do, I really want to enjoy the bread itself.
Some Panzanella recipes contain capers, cukes, peppers and more. Feel free to go all out, but I like this basic version that reminds me of the mouthwatering simplicity of fresh Italian food eaten in Italy.
Did you know? Sourdough bread contains lactobacillus culture due to the fermentation process with which it’s made. This process renders the gluten and starches more digestible and reduces phytic acid (which can impede nutrient absorption). This makes sourdough a favourite in the healthy foodie scene!
1. In a mason jar with a screw-top lid, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper and garlic. Shake to combine.
2. Lightly heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and toss in the pieces of bread, stirring a little in order to toast and heat the bread lightly on all sides.
3. In a large bowl or platter, combine the tomatoes, green onion, half the basil and mozzarella. Stir to combine.
4. When nearly ready to serve (10 minutes or so), add the bread, tossing with some of the dressing – to coat everything evenly. Don’t worry about the bread soaking up too much moisture – that’s the name of the game here.
5. Finish with more basil and possibly more cheese as garnish.