Mary Anne’s Panzanella di Firenz - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Mary Anne’s Panzanella di Firenz

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An Italian Bread and Tomato Salad from Florence

 

Don't know what to do with all of your homegrown tomatoes? Panzanella, a delicious savory salad that hails from Florence, Italy, might just be the answer to your over-abundant supply of those tasty red ones. For a change of pace, place your bread cubes on a baking sheet, brush them lightly with garlic olive oil and toast in a preheated 350 degree F. oven until golden.

 

Dressing:

6+ Tablespoons champagne wine vinegar

2-3 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch salt

2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

 

Salad:

5 to 6 cups day-old French or Italian bread, cubed

2-3 large vine-ripened red tomatoes, diced

1-2 stalks green onions, sliced thin

1/2 small red onion, sliced thin

1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced small

2-3 Tablespoons capers, drained

Dash of Italian Seasoning

8 ounces salami, ham or some other deli meat, cubed, optional

Handful fresh basil leaves, washed well, spun dry, and coarsely chopped

1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Kalamata or black olives, sliced in half, optional

  • In a large salad or pasta bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil and Dijon mustard until the dressing thickens or becomes emulsified.
  • Add remaining ingredients, and, if using, salami or other deli meat. Do not add basil, cheese and olives. Toss to combine well. Add more oil or wine vinegar to taste if needed. Let salad stand at room temperature 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up some dressing. Right before serving add the freshly chopped basil and cheese. Toss well again. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Top with olives, if using, and serve.

Serves 10 to 12.

Note: If your red onion is too strong for your taste, slice it in half and soak it in a medium- size bowl filled with ice cubes and water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, pat dry and proceed as your recipe's directions dictate.

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