Panzanella salad, a traditional Tuscan dish, is a delicious way to use up leftover bread—and it is an impressive dish that is surprisingly simple to make. The secret is to toast the bread with the best-quality olive oil.
- 4 slices day-old crusty country-style bread
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 Tablespoons
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, cubed
- 2 cups yellow bell pepper, cubed
- 2 cups red bell pepper, cubed
- ½ cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 10 pitted green or black olives
Brush the bread with one-quarter cup of olive oil. Rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic. Discard the garlic. Place the bread in a toaster oven or under the broiler until golden. Mix the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar together in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes, peppers, basil and olives. Toss well. Cut the toasted bread into large cubes, and toss into the salad just before serving. Makes two servings.