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Summer Panzanella

July 25, 2011

For our first dinner back home after a week spent in New York, I wanted something light, satisfying and full of flavor. This salad was a nice reprieve from the rich foods we ate in NYC and satisfied my craving. Serve this Italian grilled bread salad as a side dish or on its own for a beautifully fresh summer dinner.

{photo by freutcake}

Grilled PanzanellaBon Appetit Magazine (August 2011)

1 1/2 cups small to medium fresh basil leaves, divided
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 small Fresno chile or red jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, assorted colors and sizes ( I used mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joes)
1 12-ounce loaf rustic or sourdough bread, cut into 1/2″-thick slices
1 pinch garlic clove, halved


Purée 3/4 cup basil leaves and 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil in a blender until smooth and only tiny flecks of basil remain. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much oil as possible; discard solids in strainer. Add shallot, chile, lemon zest, and lemon juice to basil oil; whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice tomatoes into assorted wedges, rounds, and cubes; add to bowl with dressing. Toss to coat; let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Brush bread with remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill bread until charred in spots, about 2 minutes per side. Rub grilled bread with cut sides of garlic clove. Tear bread into 1″-2″ pieces. Add bread and remaining 3/4 cup basil leaves to bowl with tomato mixture; toss to coat. Season panzanella to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 6:03 pm

    oh yum! that looks like something I could make!

  2. comodore permalink
    August 2, 2011 12:20 pm

    That was good

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