This is my husband’s favorite salad. Not sure if bread should be allowed to be a main ingredient in a salad but it is pretty delicious. So overlooking that minor technicality…it is the perfect salad or should I say, “salad” for a summer barbecue. You could even make it a main dish for a weeknight meal…just throw on some grilled chicken or shrimp..you will not be disappointed!
Panzanella Salad Recipe
12 oz Fresh Mozzarella – cubed
2 Heirloom Tomatoes (But any tomato will do) – cubed
2 Cucumbers – sliced and quartered
6 cups of cubed Baguette Bread (I have used sourdough and ciabatta bread as well and that worked as well)
5 or 6 leaves of fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
Approximately 3/4 tsp of salt (I have also used garlic salt in the past and that is equally delicious)
Approximately 1/4 a cup of balsamic and 1/4 a cup of olive oil
1. Heat up grill.
2. While the grill is heating up, cube bread and place in a gallon ziplock bag. Melt butter in microwave (approximately 30 seconds, if not melted then, try 5 to 10 seconds more until melted).
3. Pour melted butter into gallon ziplock bag. Add minced garlic. Shake until bread is well combined. Babies find this funny (well at least mine).
4. Place bread cubes on grill and grill until golden brown on a couple sides. Then remove from grill and place in a large bowl.
5. Slice and quarter cucumbers and cube tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Add to bowl and toss.
6. Slice/cut fresh basil and leave on the side.
7. Combine olive oil and balsamic. Coat and toss salad. I recommend not pouring all of the dressing in the salad at once…find the amount that works best for you as some people like more dressing than others. Also keep in mind that you should not add the olive oil and balsamic until you are ready to serve it as the bread will get soggy. So if you like to prep ahead of time or are bringing this to someone’s house, wait to add the dressing!
8. Once you add the balsamic and olive oil, garnish with fresh basil slices and salt/garlic salt.
9. Bon Appetite!