I first had this salad in a very very bad Italian restaurant that has mercifully closed down.. I’ve also seen it on food TV so decided to give it a go myself.
Especially as I had some (hard to believe, I know!) leftover Kapiti Artisan Garlic bread that I used to make the croutons for this dish..
May we all say WOW what a delicious addition to the salad .. check it out, you will not be disappointed!
Offically, this gets called Panzanella Salad..
1kg / 2lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4c finely diced red onion
2t minced garlic (fresh)
1/2c best quality virgin olive oil
2T fresh lemon juice
2T chopped fresh basil leaves
1t chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
1t sea salt, I use Maldon but any will do
Several grinds fresh black pepper
Croutons, recipe below using Kapiti Artisan Garlic bread for an amazing taste sensation!
2c rocket and arugula mixed
Good parmesan cheese for garnish
Prepare then drain the tomatoes to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss to combine.
Divide the ‘salad’ mixture onto 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the salad greens.
With a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.
How do make “Panzanella Croutons” ..
1/4c unsalted butter
1T minced garlic (fresh)
6c crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6T finely grated Parmesan – I’ll explain why finely grated later
Preheat oven to 375degs F / 190C and preheat a baking tray in it.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but remember this will only take some 30 seconds to 1 minute.
If it goes brown throw it out and start again. It’s disgusting and will ruin the dish.
Add the cubed bread and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the bread to your baking tray. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese. Melting is why we want a fine grate!
Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crispy and lightly coloured on the outside but still soft inside. You don’t want air pockets with a shell on them!
This would take around 8- 10 minutes. Let cool before using in the salad…