Panzanella (Stale Bread Summer Entree)

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 45 min
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive Prep: 45 min
Cook: --
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 8 ounces stale bread (3 to 4 days old), sliced*
  • Cold water, as needed
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped medium fine
  • 1 European cucumber, halved and sliced into half moons
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Directions

Add the stale bread to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let the bread soak for 45 minutes.

Remove the bread from the water and discard the water. With your hands squeeze it dry, removing the excess water, while breaking into big crumbs.

In a serving bowl, add the bread, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, fresh basil, salt, and pepper and mix well.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Add the vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil when, fork at hand, you are ready to attack your dish, not 1 minute before then!

Notes

Do not use sourdough bread.

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  • on August 09, 2011

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    Joyful salad! Our tomatoes were fresh and ripe, so the pairing with cucumbers and onion could hardly go wrong. The star for me, though, was the soaked bread: the texture was soft but not too mushy -- as I had feared it might be -- and it offset the crunchy vegetables to make great little bites. My husband, who isn't too fond of other soaked bread dishes like bread pudding, said he would prefer crunchier croutons, but that would steal away the rustic charm of the salad for me. And, best of all, now I have something to do with the stale bread I have so guiltily been throwing away.

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  • on May 15, 2011

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    Looks tasty, but one thing wasn't explained (or I missed the explanation): what is the point of soaking the bread?

    And why not sourdough bread?

    people found this review Helpful.
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