The weather is starting to warm up here in Charlotte and I have salad on the brain. I am in love with a super fresh Panzanella Salad. Of course…I could have made it the traditional way…but what fun would that have been? I just added a few extra goodies here and there…it was amazing!
This is a recipe you definitely need to add to your Spring/Summer menu. If available in your area, support your local Farmer’s Markets! You can even add your favorite protein…chicken or salmon would be incredible!
For the dressing:
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 3 TBLS red wine vinegar
- 1 TBLS balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- kosher salt/pepper
- juice from one wedge of lemon
For the balsamic glaze:
- 1 C balsamic vinegar
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut three to four slices of bread (thick). Cut each slice into cubes. Spread on baking pan. Lightly dust with garlic powder and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes…turn heat up to 375 and allow to brown for another five minutes.
As the bread is browning, in a saucepan pour in the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until it is reduced by half. Turn off heat and allow to thicken…this may take about 20 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.
Lay the lemon slices on a pan and bake in oven until they brown.
In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Taste to ensure you have enough salt/pepper.
In a large bowl, pour in the tomato mixture. Gently mix in the mozzarella pearls. Add in the bread cubes and basil. Pour in the dressing and mix well to coat everything.
Garnish with the lemon slices, more basil and a few drizzles of the balsamic glaze. You can serve immediately or wait a few minutes to allow the bread to soak up a bit of the dressing.