Panzanella is one of our favorite summer salads (Perfected by Ina Garten). It's incredibly easy, makes a lot for very little. Oh, and for all you pregnant ladies- this has become a go-to in my circle of pregnant friends. One of the few ways to get in your veggies.
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small baguette cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes or whichever tomatoes you prefer.
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained. (Disregard if you are not a caper fan).
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar. White wine vinegar works fine if you cannot find 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 saute 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.
Note for left overs: If you know you will not be eating the salad all at once, keep the bread cubes and vinaigrette separate. This will prevent the bread from getting soggy.