Monday, April 21, 2008

PANZANELLA (Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad) by Jennie Blake

7 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 12-inch length of baguette
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. kosher or sea salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper
8 very ripe assorted tomatoes (3 lb.), large ones chopped
1/2 c. basil leaves, torn into pieces or cut into ribbons

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small pan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, and garlic; stir until butter melts, about 2 minutes.

2. Cut baguette into 1/2-inch cubes and put in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Pour oil mixture over bread and mix well. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let bread cool in pan.

3. In a bowl, mix remaining olive oil, the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and bread cubes. Serve at room temperature in shallow bowls, garnished with basil.

This is my good friend Christy’s recipe and I always assign her the salad for parties. So yummy, especially in the summer with tons of fresh, multi-colored tomatoes from the farmer’s market (because my summer crop usually yields about two tomatoes after the kids have picked all the baby ones before they’re ripe).

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