I love when I stumble across a recipe that looks interesting and all I need is one ingredient. That’s what happened to me last week. I had an extra french baguette in my house and had to bring a side to a dinner. After some quick recipe searching I saw a great rustic tomato bread salad from Ina Garten. Reading deeper into the recipe I knew I could adapt it a bit to make it slightly healthier. But not much, cause it’s loaded with bread. And cheese. I did what I could.
Start with a crusty loaf of bread. I had a baguette on hand so I cut it up into bite sized pieces, and tossed with with a tablespoon of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add some salt and pepper and toss until the bread cubes are coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven until the bread is golden brown and crisp. Keep and eye on it, cause bread can go from golden brown to burnt in a matter of minutes.
Add the halved tomatoes and cheese to a bowl and add the bread cubes to it.
Add half of the vinaigrette and toss well. I made all of the vinaigrette in the recipe and really only needed half.
Julianne your basil and sprinkle on the salad just before serving and toss again.
Panzanella Caprese Salad
(adapted from Ina Garten)
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved through the stem
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 3/4-inch diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 teaspoon good Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
1/2 pound crusty bread, 3/4-inch diced
20 fresh basil leaves, julienned
- Place the tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. Put the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 1-cup glass measuring cup and slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Set aside.
- Combine the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large bowl. Toss the bread cubes in the mixture until evenly coated. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake 400 degrees until the bread turns golden brown. Add the warm bread to the tomatoes and mozzarella. Add enough of the vinaigrette to moisten all the ingredients. (about half) Add the basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss carefully, adding more vinaigrette if necessary. Serve at room temperature.