February 22, 2012


from Gourmet, August 1993

I had never had this Italian tomato-and-bread salad until our Italy trip in 2009. We ate it at La Grotta, where we had one of the best meals of our trip. It was perfectly seasoned, cool, and refreshing. I looked for recipes when I got back and found this one that I love to make in the summer. It is more rustic than the restaurant version, with the ingredients in bigger pieces. It's always really satisfying and maybe even more delicious the second day. La Grotta's panzanella:

This version:

3/4 lb. day-old crusty peasant-style whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 C)
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into wedges
3/4 C sliced cucumber
1/2 C sliced red onion (I use other onions)
1/2 C e-v olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
10 fresh basil leaves, shredded a bit
coarse salt and pepper

Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. 

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