Maximum Living Panzanella
Salads don't all have to be greens and dressing. Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that features crusty bread soaked in olive oil and vinegar, as well as tomatoes, basil and other veggies.
4 cups of rustic Italian crusty bread
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ripe juicy tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise then cut into thin pieces
4 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
2 small shallots thinly sliced
1 red onion cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl add bread and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Toast bread until it is light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Make sure to stir the bread at about 6 minutes, so all sides cook.
Take bread out of oven and let cool. Next gently toss tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon salt. Next transfer tomatoes to a colander and set over a large bowl to catch the juice for about 10-12 minutes.
Take bowl of drained juice and add in remaining olive oil, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add cooled bread pieces to juice mixture, gently stir to completely coat. Add tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, basil and shallots to bread mixture and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Season to taste with salt, pepper and serve.