Tuesday I was watching the TODAY Show (Don’t judge…it’s a sickness, I know.) and Giada was whipping up a dish with bread and tomatoes and artichokes and vinegar and basil–panzanella! I could not stop thinking about it. So I decided, eying the fresh harvest of tomatoes and basil sitting on the counter, that we would have to have panzanella for dinner.
Panzanella is the perfect summer meal. It’s the ideal recipe for fresh garden (or farmers market) tomatoes. I can’t imagine this dish could ever be enjoyed in the winter with the mealy, barely pink, imported grocery store tomatoes. Nope…better enjoy it now while we are harvesting the rich red tomatoes of summer.
(slightly adapted from Giada’s Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella)
3 cups bread, cubed into 1-2 inch pieces (I used ciabatta)
1 can artichoke hearts, sliced in half
handful of chopped basil
2/3 cup good olive oil (For salads, we love Trader Joe’s California Estate Olive Oil.)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
drizzle of olive oil for cooking
salt & pepper
Preheat a grill pan on medium heat. Toss your bread and artichokes with a little bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and add the bread and the artichokes to the preheated grill. Turn every couple of minutes until each side is golden brown. Remove from the grill and add to a serving bowl with your tomatoes and basil. Toss to combine.
Whisk the good olive oil and vinegar together and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad. Toss and serve.
You could add olives, red onion or parmesan cheese.
As it was, the panzanella was amazing. We ate it as our main course, with a side of fresh green beans from the farmers market and a couple of glasses of red wine. We took advantage of another mild summer night and ate outside…it just might have been the perfect summer meal.