We are so excited about our first garden tomatoes of the summer, they amazingly sweet and bursting with so much flavor...
This past weekend my husband and I indulged in one of our favorite salads, panzanella! It's the perfect blend of crunchy bread, mild hints of garlic and lots of fresh tomato and basil goodness! Bon Appetit!
Tuscan Bread & Tomato Salad ~ Panzanella
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 12-inch baguette
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
8 very ripe assorted tomatoes (3lb.), large ones chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces or cute into ribbons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, and garlic; stir until butter melts, about 2 minutes.
Cut baquette into 1/2-inch cubes and put in a 10x15-inch baking pan. Pour oil mixture over bread and mix well. Bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let bread cool in pan.
In a bowl, mix remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, basil and bread cubes. Serve at room temperature in shallow bowls, garnish with extra basil.