This is a great salad to have in the summer when my neighbor's gardens are in full force. Coming from a long line of gardeners my husband and I unfortunately lack green thumbs but we certainly know what to do with the abundance of produce that comes our way! Don't be alarmed by the large ingredient list, it's mostly pantry items. I usually just need to go and pick up some baby mozzarella balls and a loaf of ciabatta and I'm ready to go.
To make croutons
- 1 lb ciabatta
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- coarse salt
- fresh ground pepper
For salad and dressing
- 1 cucumber
- 1⁄2 small red onion
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup basil, finely sliced
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella ball, bocconcini are about 1 inch in diameter
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup vinegar, balsamic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350ºF to make croutons.
- Cut the bread into 3/4 inch cubes and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. They should be crunchy yet soft. Allow to cool while assembling salad.
- Cut cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Place in large bowl.
- Drain and halve mozzarella balls and add to vegetables.
- Add salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic powder into the large bowl. Mix well.
- Add bread cubes and mix again. Serve immediately.
There is a lot of chopping that goes into this salad.....but it is worth the effort. We really enjoyed this panzanella salad. It actually could be served as a main course because it is so filling! If you are making for a smaller family, I suggest cutting the recipe in half -- it makes a ton! Wonderful blend of flavors!
Wowsier is this good. I followed this exactly except for two items. I didn't have any baby mozzarella balls, so I used fresh sliced mozzarella and some feta cheese. The only other change was I used some bread that I made the previous day, cubed it up in 1 inch cubes and put on the grill with olive oil to "bake" or "grill" with olive oil and then added directly to the salad. Love all of it! Used fresh lettuces from the garden, onions, fresh tomato, cucumbers, fresh peppers, and this was easy to put together, but grand in taste. I would suggest that everyone who views this recipe, make it! So good, and you won't be disappointed. Lovely Slatts! Made for *SSC Pet Parade* July 2008