What do you get when you add shreds of crusty sourdough to a bowl full of perfect end-of-summer tomatoes, sprinkle with course salt and douse with fresh lemon juice and a healthy helping of olive oil? You get a perfect panzanella salad.
This Tuscan treat makes a perfect meal or starter, and is an easy way to use every last bit of that sourdough bread, even when it's past its prime.
1/2 loaf of leftover crusty sourdough (fresh works, too!) torn into pieces
1 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes (cherry or plum tomatoes are easy, heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous and a combo is great, too).
6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 of a shallot, chopped fine or two garlic cloves, grated
Fresh ground black pepper
Recipes for panzanella are as plentiful as perfect farmer's market tomatoes in the early Fall, and while many call for toasting the bread pre-construction, we like to skip this stage. Leaving a little moisture in the bread lets it absorb the dressing, giving just the right bite. To make the salad, tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and do the same with the mozzarella. Cut large tomatoes in eighths and cherry varieties into halves or quarters.