We’re in the middle of what feels like a heat wave here in New York. It’s been over 90 degrees and humid for the last few days. Straight up sticky! I’m a little fussy when it comes to the weather. I like it SoCal style, 75-85 and sunny, no more, no less. Hoping we will get a bit of that in the next few days.
Regardless of how hot it is, I love this rustic Tuscan Panzanella salad in the summer. It highlights in-season tomatoes when they are naturally sweet and delicious. It’s also cold and crunchy which is the perfect antidote for the humidity. I use Schär baguettes or hot dog buns and just cut them into 1″ cubes for the croutons. They work great and the bonus with gluten-free bread is that you never have to wait for it to get a little stale. It already naturally tastes that way, right? Ha! Looking at the bright side. If you are using regular bread then wait until it is a couple of days old.
- 1 loaf Schär baguette or 2 hot dog buns, cut into 1” cubes
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved or regular tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and cut into half-moons
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 15-20 basil leaves, chopped
- Parmesan Shavings, optional
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar
- ¼ tsp honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat skillet to medium and add olive oil all. Toss bread in olive oil until golden brown all over, about 5-7 minutes. Set croutons aside.
- Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients, except basil, together in a small bowl until emulsified or shake in a small, sealed container.
- Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add croutons and toss with vinaigrette. Allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes before serving. Add Parmesan, if desired.