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Panzanella Italian Bread Salad Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

1 large round loaf peasant bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, about 4 cups
1 shallot, finely chopped
Recipe Summaryped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, seeded and choppe
Yield: 8 servings
1 clove garlic, smashed to a paste d
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and c
Difficulty: Easy
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped with feathery greens (fronds) reserved
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted and

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5 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chophopped
12 basil leaves, shredded

Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and leave out, uncovered, to dry for 24 hours. Alternatively, bake the cubes in a 300 degree F. oven for 10 to 20 minutes until dried out but not toasted.
In a large bowl whisk together the shallots, garlic, lemon rind and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking constantly until well combined. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, fennel and olives, tossing to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Thirty minutes before serving the salad add the reserved fennel greens, basil and bread cubes, tossing to coat, and let the salad stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Copyright © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

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