It seems like the stars aligned for this dish to happen tonight. I made some great pugliese bread earlier in the week, and just as fate would have it, I got some backyard grown artichokes from a lady at work! Score! Since summer is coming, I thought that I would share a go to salad, perfect for a summer lunch.
So panzanella is basically a toasted bread salad with orgins in the Tuscany region of Italy. You can use whatever assortment of vegetables that you have on hand, as long as they can be cubed and hold up to a light saute. Though it is delicious as soon as everything is combined, panzanella really shines the day after, when brought back to room temperature as all the flavors really combine.
Ingredients (Everything is chopped and trimmed into 1” cubes)
- 4 medium artichokes, steamed, trimmed and cubed
- 1 medium zucchini, cubed
- 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cubed0
- 1 medium tomato, cubed
- 1 red onion, cubed
- 3 cups of day old pugliese, ciabatta or dense bread, cubed
On top of that base you can add whatever else you would like or have on hand. This time I added mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes (fresh aren’t in season yet) and spring garlic. Typically basil is a main ingridient, but it is not in season yet, so I used parsley and fresh oregano instead.
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Saute bread over medium heat in 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large saute pan, when it has toasted, about 1 minute on each side add another 1/4 cup of olive oil and the rest of ingriedients. Saute lightly for about 5 minutes until everything is warmed through and some browning has occured. Place into a large bowl and toss to combine with the vinigarette.
Suggested drink: A chilled, dry white wine, or limoncello.