Panzanella is a delightful Italian bread salad made with summer's bounty: fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil.
1poundloaf Italian or French Breadcut in 1 inch cubes
½cupextra virgin olive oildivided use
1 ½poundfresh tomatoescut in 1 inch cubes
1mediumcucumberpeeled, seeded and cut into slices
3tablespoonsred wine vinegar
salt and pepperto taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, add bread pieces and drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over them to coat. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light brown, flipping once. About 15 minutes.
While bread is toasting add tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt to the bowl and toss lightly. Let stand 15 minutes. (this is when I chop the remaining ingredients)
Remove bread from the oven and set aside to cool briefly.
Drain the tomato juices to a small bowl. Add cucumbers, shallot, basil and toasted bread to the tomatoes.
Add vinegar and 6 tablespoons oil to the tomato juices. Whisk to combine, then drizzle over the the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.