I know I’ve only been doing this for a month, but so far this is my favorite recipe for Barefoot Bloggers. (FYI Barefoot Bloggers are a group of bloggers that prepare 2 recipes a month from the Barefoot Contessa-Ina Garten). This month's recipe was for Panzanella and it was chosen by Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen. Thank you Melissa for choosing such a delicious recipe!
Honestly though, toasty bread tossed with fresh chopped veggies and basil what is not to love? I made only a few minor changes:
· I omitted the mustard (can’t really stomach the stuff)
· I omitted the capers (forgot to put them on the shopping list)
· I added diced avocado (quite possibly the most perfect food-I love them and thought they would be a nice addition)
We enjoyed this salad so much, that after finishing I cut up some additional bread, toasted it (this time instead of cooking it in a skillet I spread it out on a baking sheet, tossed with the oil and salt then baked it at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or so) I then bagged it and froze it to take up to my brother’s lake house this weekend to make it again.
My supermarket had just taken loaves of French bread out of the oven, so it was a challenge to not eat the bread by itself, although I did steal a few cubes. My supermarket does not carry champagne vinegar, but luckily I was able to buy some at my local Homegoods. Although it was a bit pricey-$7.99 for a small bottle, I do think the taste is worth it.
Keeper, keeper, keeper.
Barefoot Contessa Panzanella from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon 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
½ red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinkly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauté 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.
Please don’t forget to vote for my Warm Tropical Fruit Wraps-in the evening category! XXOO.