Recipe by Chef John
"The key to this panzanella is frying the bread cubes in loads of olive oil in a skillet, which obviously makes them crispy. But the healthful fat also soaks into the bread cubes and renders them semi-waterproof, or dressing-proof. The same goes for the dusting of Parmesan cheese applied halfway through the crisping process."
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1/2-inch stale bread cubes, or more to taste
olive oil, or to taste
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
cherry tomatoes, halved
red wine vinegar, or more to taste
extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
minced garlic, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh basil, thinly sliced, or more to taste
Excellent! I kept the ingredients the same but changed the toasting method of the bread. I placed the olive oil tossed bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for approx. 5 min. Stirred and sprinkled with the Parmesan, then continued to bake until nicely browned. This recipe doesn't disappoint.
Very tasty salad! I've had it before YEARS ago (maybe 30?), & it was, as Chef John says, a little less pleasant because of the sogginess of the bread. I wonder though, if you could use a high quality basalmic vinager instead of red wine vinegar? I purchased some from Italy when I visited my Daughter. It's a 5 year, wooden cask cured Basalmic (which I use ONLY on something that it "really" matters on, like this salad (the longer it's cured, especially in a wooden cask, makes it FAR superior to what you get at the grocers. It's expensive, but what Heavenly flavor!!! I do confess though, I've made croutons this way since I was a girl, & my Dad would make his favorite noodle dish, croutons, parm., cottage cheese and noodles. I have the recipe for "that" dish in my A/R Recipe box, again, thanks to my friends the "Buzzers" on the A/R site (The Buzz). It's a great resource for all of us on A/R. It's complimentary with membership, AND there are a boatload of nice folks on there who can answer almost any question or recipe request you can imagine and seem to love doing so!
This recipe looked simple and fun. It was! I made it even easier by using bagged Cheese & Garlic Croutons, and hot house tomatoes. Also used fresh basil from my garden and added shrimp that I'd cooked in a garlic, red pepper flake, olive oil & butter mix. Turned it into a meal rather than a side. My husband went back for seconds!
Huge hit! Thought I would burn the bread. I didn't. The cheese did stick to the bottom of pan and I had to run outside to avoid the smoke detector going off but I actually used the scrapings in the salad and it was yummy. I didn't use any sugar and I only had balsamic vinegar handy so that's what I used. It was really tasty. Thanks once again Chef John for another keeper
Wow! Once again Chef John has come up with a great recipe. I was tempted to bake the bread cubes but I followed the recipe and am I glad I did. This was delicious! The bread was not soggy at all. The only change I made was to add fresh chives. When I went out to pick the basil leaves the chives just called out to me and I couldn't resist. This was wonderful now I can't wait for the grape tomatoes to come in.
Such a nice change from the usual summer pasta salads!
Chef John's cooking method is spot on.
GOOD EASY Make again I enjoyed. 4 only because it was good but not a wow. Certainly good with other salads for change.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chef John's Panzanella
Serving Size: 1/2 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 746
** Calories from Fat: 412
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