I love panzanella.
I made it for dinner tonight, using tomatoes from our garden and heirlooms from the farmers market. The ripe tomatoes get cut up in bite-sized pieces and placed in a colander over a salad bowl. They're sprinkled with kosher salt and pressed down with a large spoon so the juices drip down into the bowl. Every now and then I added a bit of salt, stirred them, and pressed them again.
I picked basil outside and rolled the leaves together and cut them into thin strips. Can't remember the fancy word for that. Minced up a small clove of garlic, and added the garlic and basil to the bowl of tomato juices, along with olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Meanwhile my daughter ripped sourdough bread into bite-sized pieces and drizzled them with olive oil. We toasted them for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Once the bread pieces are cool, they get mixed with the tomato juices and tomato pieces. The bread soaks up the juices and turns pink, and it's all heavenly.
We had the panzanella with a little provolone cheese on the side, and oven-roasted corn from the farmers market, topped with Trader Joe's chili-lime seasoning.
This is my absolute favorite summer dinner.
Sorry I didn't give measurements for the ingredients. I just estimate, and add more if needed. Some people leave out the garlic.
Does you dinner table have ample room for 4,738 people, we could bring the wine.
but where would I find a salad bowl large enough?
Its just the right time of year.
Sometimes I make a variation where I add cannellini beans and bacon, along with roasted red pepper and tomatoes. We call it bean and bacon panzanella.
I usually make some spaghetti with olive oil and garlic for a side. Yum.
I kind of like it without the bread in the salad, but on the side. I'm not a huge fan of soggy bread, but I love good tomatoes w/ EVOO and basil. It's just perfect!