Recipe by Phil Franco
A surprisingly tasty Tuscan use of leftover bread is Panzanella. Essential to the tastiness of it is top quality extra virgin olive oil, good red wine vinegar, the bread and of course flavorful tomatoes. Usually associated with Tuscany, but is popular in Umbria as well. This is one of many versions. Panzanella can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for several hours or taken on picnics. Remove from refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Panzanella is an Italian bread and tomato salad made with garlic, basil, parsley, olive oil, and vinegar.
- 1 baguette, 24-inch, preferably 2 days old
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup basil
Directions See How It's Made
- Slice the bread into 1 inch slices. Soak the bread in cold water to cover for about ten minutes.
- Remove, squeezing out as much moisture as you can.
- Cut into 1 inch cubes. Layer one-quarter of the basil leaves on top of each other and roll into a tight bunch. Thinly slice the bunch of leaves cross-wise to create long strips of basil approximately 1/8-inch thick.
- Cube the tomatoes.
- Add the tomatoes and the whole and sliced basil.
- Add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Optional: Add sliced red onion.