Last week, my tennis buddy, Mary Kay brought this panzanella salad to share after our tennis match. Oh my gosh, that girl can cook! It was amazing – so refreshing after a sprightly game of tennis. I thought it would be perfect to bring to the conference week teacher dinner tonight. Unfortunately, I had to make it before I received the official recipe from Mary Kay, so I just had to wing it. Relying on my ever faulty memory and a little help from Ina, I came up with the first recipe, which I think is quite good. I needed to get a little protein into our deserving teachers, so I added a chopped up store bought roast chicken to it. This is totally optional, as it is quite hearty without it. Luckily, Mary Kay came through with her recipe, so I am able to share that one, too. Her version is a tad bit healthier as the croutons are baked and not fried in luscious olive oil like mine are….Enjoy!!!
Architect Mom Panzanella Salad
- 1 loaf pugliese rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 T. olive oil
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 10 medium hot house tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2-3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped up
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil, chiffonaded
- 1/4 cup italian parsley
- 3 T. capers
- 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan, freshly grated
- 1/4 pine nuts, toasted (optional)
- ****** *****
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t. dijon mustard
- 6 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3/4-1 t. kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- *** ***
- 1 store bought roasted chicken, chopped up (optional)
- Heat the 4 T. of olive oil in a large pan. Add the bread and the salt and cook over low heat, tossing frequently until nicely browned. This took me about 5 minutes.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, pepper, cukes, olives, basil, parsley, capers and pine nuts. Add the roasted chicken, if you so desire. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette and parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mary Kay Panzanella Salad
- 5 cups 1-inch cubed good and crusty bread
- 3 english cukes, peeled seeded & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced into chiffonade
- feta or fresh mozzarella (optional)
- **** *****
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ***** *****
- 1/2 cup parmesan strips
- Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until well browned- about 15 minutes. Toss and shake pan for even browning.
- Cool bread cubes.
- Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.
- In a large bowl toss the cukes, tomatoes, olives, basil and cheese with the croutons and dressing. Shave 1/2 cup parmesan on top.
- Yum also!