The traditional Italian salad panzanella was born from the need to use up stale bread. Some versions call for soaking the loaf in water. It’s more luxurious to rub a crusty baguette with olive oil and garlic and grill the pieces for a few minutes, lending smoky notes to the finished bowl of arugula, tomatoes, and red onion. For a pretty presentation, choose multicolored cherry tomatoes.
|1||baguette, halved lengthwise|
|5||tablespoons olive oil|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||cloves garlic, halved|
|1/2||pint cherry tomatoes in mixed colors, quartered|
|2||large tomatoes, cut into wedges|
|1||small red onion, thinly sliced|
|1||bunch fresh arugula, stems trimmed|
|1/3||cup chopped fresh basil|
|1/4||cup balsamic vinegar|
|4||ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled|
1. Light a charcoal grill and wait for the coals to turn gray or set a gas grill to medium.
2. Brush the baguette with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the baguette for 2 minutes on a side or until crisp and slightly charred. Remove bread from grill and rub with garlic cloves. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
4. In a large bowl, combine grilled bread, cherry and regular tomatoes, onion, arugula, basil, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently.
5. Divide the salad among 6 plates and sprinkle with goat cheese.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick