The classic Tuscan dish panzanella is a salad made of pieces of crusty bread and ripe fresh tomatoes. It pretty much blows any American notion of leafy green salads out of the water with its massive chunks of oily bread and succulent tomatoes. I’ve added some roasted vegetables here to flesh out the dish a little, but let’s be honest: It’s all about the bread.
- 2 heads endive
- ½ small purple cabbage
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 zucchini
- 2 small Poblano peppers
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 2 hearts Romaine lettuce
- ½ 18-inch baguette
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
- 8 oz burrata cheese
- ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
Turn on your broiler to high and roughly chop the endive, cabbage, squash, zucchini and peppers. Toss with ¼ cup olive oil and evenly spread across a large roasting pan. Roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables have browned slightly. Remove from the oven, transport vegetables to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Roughly chop the lettuce and baguette and toss with remaining ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast under your broiler for 2 to 4 minutes until the bread is golden-brown. Remove from the oven and add to the bowl with the roasted vegetables. Once everything has cooled to room temperature, add the tomatoes and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine. Serve with a spoonful or two of burrata cheese and a few sprinkles of parsley.
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.