Panzanella Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Panzanella Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

End tomato season on a high note with this amazing combination of tasty garlic bread bites, juicy heirloom tomatoes, garden fresh herbs and tangy lemon. It sings of Summer’s leaving and Fall’s beginning.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 pounds multicolored heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-1/2” pieces

1/2 small shallot, sliced thin

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided

2 tablespoons basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Zest of one large lemon

Juice of one large lemon

 

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and garlic powder. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp on the outside, but still slightly soft in the middle, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Cut the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, toss well, then rest for 10-15 minutes so the tomatoes release their juices. Add the shallot. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes, add the basil and oregano, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss to evenly coat. Add the bread cubes, as much as desired. (Save the rest for another use if you have extra.) Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the liquid is completely absorbed into the bread.