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The answer lies in the name: pan or, “bread”.  It’s a Meditterenean bread salad, incorporating large chunks of crusty bread, red onions, sweet peppers and a tangy vinaigrette. There are many variations of this recipe; some require classically greek elements like olives, feta cheese, and red wine vinegar. Others involve roma tomatoes and basil. Either way, this salad is no foo-foo she-she bowl of micro-greens. The reason it’s so good is because the bread is the highlight. It soaks up the vinaigrette and just melts in your mouth. Here is my recipe for Panzanella.

Ingredients:

1 large loaf of Ciabatta bread or 1/2 loaf of French Bread (cut into medium sized cubes)

1/2 red onion (sliced)

1 red pepper (cut into squares)

1 cup of diced cucumbers (about 1/4 to 1/2 a cucumber depending on the size)

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/4 cup goat cheese (crumbled)

1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for vinaigrette

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 clove garlic minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Chop up vegetables, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Cut bread into medium sized cubes.

Once bread is cubed, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven on a sheet pan until golden brown.  Remove bread from the oven and let cool. Once cool, combine with chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Prepare vinaigrette. 30 minutes before serving, pour vinaigrette over the salad, add the crumbled goat cheese and parsley, and gently toss. Bread cubes should be slightly softened and not completely crunchy.  Enjoy!

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