This is truly one of my new favorite things. How brilliant--grilled crusty bread in salad--just perfect for all those who like a little lettuce with their croutons. Hmmm...or is this how croutons came to be?...but crouton is a French word, non?...I digress. So, you can't mess up Panzanella, unless you burn the bread, I suppose. I added mozzarella to mine, and Ina likes capers in hers, but no matter how you toss it up, these are the main ingredients:
Crusty bread brushed with olive oil, sliced 1/2 inch thick, grilled, then cut into cubes Coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes Coarsely chopped cucumbers Coarsely torn basil Drizzle of olive oil Drizzle of red wine vinegar Coarse salt and pepper
*Update: I now toss my veggies with olive oil and vinegar first, adjust salt and pepper for taste, and then add bread at the end and toss. I like my salad to be moist and vinegar-y, so I usually use two parts red wine vinegar to one part olive oil. The cucumbers and tomatoes should be sitting in some dressing when you toss in the bread--the bread will soak up the excess dressing!
Simply delicious, and efficient too, taking care of bread and salad in one big bowl! Perfect for the grilling season that's around the corner.