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Grilled Sourdough Panzanella

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Serves 4 to 6

Yields about 6 cups.

  • by Allison Ehri Kreitler from Fine Cooking
    Issue 80

If you’ve never had a bread salad, you’re missing out on a great way to both use up leftover bread and showcase summer tomatoes. Bread salads are common in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, where cooks use stale bread as the primary ingredient. In this Italian version, called panzanella, we char the bread on the grill for added flavor. If you don’t feel like grilling the bread, you can toast it in a grill pan or under a low broiler.

  • 4-1/2-inch-thick slices (about 8 oz.) from the center of a round sourdough loaf (a boule)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 lb. ripe, meaty tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 small English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. capers, drained and rinsed

Heat a gas grill with all burners on medium. Brush the bread with 1/4 cup of the oil and season it with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill the bread on both sides, checking frequently, until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. When the bread is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a small bowl, soak the shallot in the vinegar for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shallot to a large bowl, reserving the vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and mash it to a paste on a cutting board with the side of a chef's knife. Whisk the mashed garlic, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper into the reserved vinegar.

Toss the bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, mint, capers, and vinaigrette in the bowl with the shallot. Season the panzanella to taste with kosher salt and pepper and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 370; Fat (g): 20; Fat Calories (kcal): 180; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): 40; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 760; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

One of my most made and favorite FC recipes. I skip the mint and capers and use heirloom tomatoes.

I have made this salad dozens of times and it is my favorite tomato salad. I have taken it to many dinners and I am always asked to share the recipe. I usually omit the mint because it is not an ingredient I usually have on hand.

This was delicious! My anti carb men went back for seconds. Definately use the freshest tomatoes and herbs for a great summer salad. Grilling the bread (opposed to broiling) is best. I left out the cucumber but loved the capers.

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