I had so much fun recipe testing this panzanella salad the other day! I had a craving, then proceeded to read/dream about it for roughly two days straight and came up with what I thought would be a winner. It sort of combined my favorite aspects from all four recipes into one glorious dish.
And I was right.
Items that stood out to me: all the basil. Yes please. Roasted garlic. Duh. Feta stuffed olives. Obviously. And then the kicker – no one had done it yet. Why, why? It seemed to be such an obvious answer to the whole what to you smear all over the bread question.
(Not an egg, as my four year old thought).
Nope, creamy delicious burrata. Is there anything more glorious?
Not in my world.
The best part about this recipe is that it only gets better the longer it sits. And, wait for it, it only gets better as the season goes on. Those tomatoes are just going to get more and more flavorful. Basil from the herb garden. Cucumbers from the market. See where I’m going with this? This is the side to perfect now so that when summer comes you are ready.
Because the vegetables will definitely be.
PANZANELLA SALAD WITH BURRATA
Recipe from A Life From Scratch
1 large loaf day old italian, french, or ciabatta bread
salt & pepper
6 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 large seedless cucumber (seeds removed), cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
Handful olives, any kind you like (I used green stuffed with feta)
1 whole head of garlic, top 1/2 inch or so sliced off
red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon
red pepper flakes
20ish leaves of fresh basil
1 large hunk of burrata
Preheat your oven to 425. Tear up the bread into bite size chunks and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a few TBS olive oil and some salt. Roast away until the edges are golden brown, roughly 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, throw your veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion) along with the olives in a large bowl. Pour a TBS or so of red wine vinegar, a TBS or so of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and gently toss together. (This can sit awhile, mine sat for 4 hours just like this).
Time for your dressing. For the garlic aspect you can simply finely grate up two garlic cloves. I wanted the smooth roasted flavor so I roasted a whole head of garlic (wrapped in foil with olive oil, salt, and pepper for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven). From there, whisk together two grated or roasted garlic cloves, dijon, 2 TBS red wine vinegar, 4 TBS olive oil, salt, pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes, and 4 or so basil leaves chopped up.
When ready to assemble (this can be done up to 4 hours from serving) place your bread onto of your vegetables and pour the dressing over the top. (I would give this stage at least two hours for the bread to really soak up the dressing. Don’t worry, it won’t get soggy). When ready to serve, gently toss the salad all together along with the remaining fresh roughly chopped basil leaves. Top with burrata, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.