Summer is on the wind-down, but I'm determined to relish the fresh and vibrant tastes it offers until the very end. Scrumptious, juicy tomatoes, currently in season, play a star role in everything from soups to sauces to salads and makes Summer especially delicious.
Combined with perfectly toasted, golden homemade croutons (what could be better?) and a host of fresh vegetables, herbs and other special touches, a beautiful and classic Italian tomato bread salad, known as Panzanella, is born.
Panzanella is a cinch to make and transports well, making it an ideal dish for al fresco dining, picnics, beach outings and more. Or, in my case, right in the comfort of my home kitchen. And it's one more reminder of how delicious Summer can truly be.
Small Ciabatta or other loaf bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
Fresh mint, shredded or torn
Fresh basil, shredded or torn
Red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in bread cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute bread until golden and crispy in texture.
In a large bowl, combine croutons, vegetables, herbs, onion and vinaigrette to taste. Toss to mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten