Recipe: Panzanella – Italian Summer Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are at peak freshness during the hot summer months, so make them the star of your next BBQ with this simple Italian salad. Warm angry croutons are perfect for soaking up the salad dressing and the juices from the ripe tomatoes.

{ingredients]

Panzanella – Italian Ripe Tomato Salad

1 lb ripe tomatoes (cherry, cut in half, or heirloom cubed into inch wide pieces)

1 lb Persian cucumbers, cut into one inch site pieces

1 cup sliced red onions (I soak them in a bit of sherry vinegar for about 15 minutes soothes don’t have too much of a spicy bite)

1 cup red bell pepper, cut into one inch size pieces

1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into inch size pieces

1 avocado, died

extra large handful of fresh basil, ripped by hand

1/2 cup fresh herb vinaigrette 

2 cup toasted croutons, cut into inch size cubes (I cube a loaf of sourdough bread and dry it overnight, but you could also put it in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes)

Directions:

Toss all the vegetables and mozzarella in a large mixing bowl, salt generously. Top with the ripped basil and the croutons. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently. Let it marinate for at least half an hour, then toss again gently and serve.