ITALIAN BREAD SALAD -- PANZANELLA
By Cheryl Coleman
This continuing hot weather is stretching the culinary imagination to come up with tempting dishes that don't require a lot of time in the kitchen. This out of the ordinary salad is a great choice.
- 1 small loaf day old Italian or French bread, about 6 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil
- 7 cups ready to serve salad greens
- 1 small green pepper, julienned
- 1 cup sliced pepperoni
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing *
- Heat oven to 275.
- Cut bread into one inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Toss with olive oil and bake until slightly crisp, but not toasted, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool. (If you want to avoid using the oven you can cut up the bread and let it dry out overnight at room temperature.)
- Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl and gently toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing.
Serves six to eight.
* To make your own dressing:
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Cap with a lid and shake vigorously to mix.