If you like an easy salad and one that you can make a meal out of, look no further than this panzanella salad. It came out delicious.
- 4 ounces ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
- 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
- ¾ tsp. kosher sea salt, more to taste
- 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, mix of variety and colors
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion (about ½ small onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated to paste
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, more to taste
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or combination)
- Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- Black pepper to taste
- ½ cup thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber (about 1 small cucumber)
- ½ cup torn basil leaves
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. capers, drained
- Heat oven to 425°. Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp. oil and a pinch of salt. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 7-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic paste, 1 tbsp. vinegar, oregano or thyme, ¼ tsp. salt, and the red pepper flakes if using. Toss to coat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 tbsp. vinegar, the mustard, ¼ tsp. salt, and some black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tbsp. olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil, and parsley.
- Add bread cubes, cucumber mixture and capers to the tomatoes and toss well. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving. Toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar, and salt if needed just before serving.