Italian Tomato and Bread Salad - Panzanella
This is an ideal recipe for using red-ripe, juicy home-grown garden tomatoes. Use anything less and the taste will be disappointing.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 a baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 pounds fresh garden-ripe tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the skillet and add the garlic and bread cubes. Mix well.
- Place the skillet in 350°F (175°C) oven and bake until the bread cubes are golden brown and crisp. Remove skillet from oven and allow to cool.
- Place diced tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Just before serving, toss tomato mixture with the toasted bread cubes and basil.
- Serve in bowls with spoons to get every last yummy drop.
Makes 6 servings.