I’ve always been a secret fan of panzanella, but never really make it. Why? I don’t know… Maybe it’s because this is best made with fresh farm stand ingredients – tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc. Or maybe it’s just because this is a salad…and I don’t make many salads – other than mayonnaise based ones – which I love. Anyways, moving on, if you don’t know what panzanella is, Google it. Or click here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzanella
Panzanella can actually be made with anything – to an extent. Mine is made with some of the things I like – onions, croutons, tomatoes… And a light vinaigrette dressing. It’s delicious!
You can use fresh bread, cut and drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven, or use croutons (like me). I like them fairly large, and use this brand – http://www.newyorkbrand.com/croutons?id=115
For the salad…
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups black olives
5 cups “Texas-style croutons”
For the vinaigrette dressing…
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Start by preparing the vegetables. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper to where they are all pretty close to the same size. After completing this and thinly slicing the onion, place all vegetables in a large bowl with the black olives and croutons.
Next, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, white vinegar, minced garlic, spicy mustard, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
Pour the finished vinaigrette over the vegetables and croutons, and toss to coat. Serve immediately or allow to sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend together.