Food You Can eat: Panzanella Caprese Salad

Here we have a simple summer salad recipe, a Panzanella/ Caprese combination. Take a loaf of rustic, crusty bread – I prefer a round loaf, because it gives more crust area. Cut it into bite-sized cubes, and sauté until crispy on the outsides and a little bit dry. Now, you could just let your bread cubes sit in open air and dry out overnight to get the crunch. But we like to throw some olive oil and/or some butter in a large frying pan and cook those cubes until the outside is the same consistency as a crispy grilled cheese sandwich. For a four-serving side salad or a two-serving dinner salad, I use about half of the loaf. Throw the cubes into your serving bowl.

Now add the other ingredients. Keitel went out back and picked a bunch of grape tomatoes (20 or so) and a large bunch of basil (4 good-sized stems worth). It was quite hot outside, and it was a pleasure to slice the still warm-from-the-sun tomatoes into the salad, and to tear the larger basil leaves to release the aroma. Add a container of drained and dried mozzarella balls, or cube a  large mozzarella ball, and add to mixture.

I also chopped in 2 big bulb onions with green stems. You could add in squash, cucumber, red onion, garlic, capers, or whatever summer vegetable is hanging about in your refrigerator or garden.

Now for the dressing. I just drizzled Chef Tim’s Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette over it tossed. You can eat it right away or store it overnight to allow the flavors to mingle and the bread cubes to soften a bit. Prefer to make your own dressing? Mix  olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, granulated garlic, black pepper, oregano, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, and anything else you like in a vinaigrette, shake it up, and pour it on, then mix. If you make your own dressing, I’d go with about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. This is a KBA recipe (Keitel Blacksmith approved), except not the tomatoes, he won’t eat them.

AND – in honor of the Loveshaq groundbreaking food DUAN, here is themed food music for FYCE: Bread, I’d Like To Make It With You. (Panzanella, cookin’, eh?)

About Elliecoo 524 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


      • Can I just add here that a lot of great cooking came out of want?
        Almost all basic cuisines were derived from stuff that was readily available to the general populace, and then less so during the frequent famines, so what did you have around? This is a good example. When tomatoes were introduced to the Mediterranean they grew like Tribbles, if you’re a Star Trek aficionado, so they show up all over the place. Crusty, rough bread became more common because with the fall of the Roman Empire the wheat supplies were cut off. Mozzarella and ricotta are ubiquitous and kind of easy to make, especially now, in the 21st century, but more so when you might you have had a handy cow who lived in your structure with you. Basil is really easy to grow, some of my apartment neighbors harvest so much we get socially distanced deliveries from them left outside out doorstep.

        • That was interesting, Cousin Matthew.  Our tomatoes and basil are doing well, as is the parsley. However, we have no cows. Nor a bread machine. We do live in area rich with farms, organic farming, etc. So when buy locally we get farm to table type food. 

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