The Basics of Panzanella
It's getting toward the end of summer, but it's still hot out there in some parts. And, honestly, we're getting tired of salads. So, how can we spice it up? Well, how about panzanella? Right away you can tell from the spelling that it's something different, because it has the word "pan," which translates to "bread" in Spanish or Italian. And you'd be right. Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that is popular in central Italy, where it is also known as ;">panmolle (pronounced: pan-moh-leh). The salad also includes tomatoes, mint, and basil. Although it must be noted that, initially, before the advent of tomatoes, the salad was onion-based. And it has a plain dressing of olive oil and vinegar — that's it.
What's good about this salad is that you can use day-old bread, even stale bread, if necessary. You see, the bread is toasted in the oven before mixing with the other ingredients. That means the bread doesn't get squishy like croutons, and its crunchy taste prevails. The recipe given below is a basic panzanella. And the great thing about this is that you can add any other vegetables you desire: blanched peas, green beans, fava beans, mushrooms, broccoli, etc. You can even add pieces of ham, salami, or cooked chicken to it. The possibilities are endless.