Panzanella with Peaches

ImageThe moment I heard that “bread salad” was a thing, I knew I had a winner. Apparently there are very traditional ways to make panzanella with specific ingredients and methods, but since I’m not Italian and I’ve never made it before, I’m sure I veered wildly off the beaten track….I hope in a good way. 

This salad is a summer FLAVOUR EXPLOSION– seriously, it was so good that the first time I made it I ate the whole big bowl. I think I’ll have to make it a few more times to get it exactly right. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, pitted and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 loaf of stale baguette, cut into cubes (about 1 inch)– this is about 4 cups of bread
  • 1 large tomato, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn (+ a couple whole leaves for garnish)
  • 1 clove of freshly pressed garlic 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Quickest Method

  • Heat the oven to 400oF
  • Toss the bread cubes in 1 tbsp olive oil and lay them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • Lay the peaches on a section of the baking sheet as well
  • Toast the bread and peaches for about 5-10 minutes, turning over as necessary (ideally, the peaches will and bread will both be lightly browned
  • LET COOL (I skipped this step and it was a disaster)
  • While the peaches/bread are in the oven, mix the tomatoes, half the basil, garlic, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a big bowl and let sit 
  • Make the dressing by whisking the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsps of vinegar (you might need more vinegar) and salt and pepper to taste
  • Once the peaches and bread are cool, add them to the tomatoes
  • Pour the dressing, toss with the remaining basil, and wait about 10 minutes to let the flavours combine
  • Garnish with basil leaves

Tell me it’s not the best thing you’ve ever tasted. 

Notes:

  • You could do the bread and peaches separately– grilling the peaches in a grill pan or on a BBQ would be a nice touch!
  • You might also toss the bread/peaches with the dressing and then add it to the tomatoes in two steps. 
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