This delicious Italian bread salad will become your summertime staple

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – Toasty, crusty bread, paired with juicy ripe tomatoes, spicy basil and creamy fresh mozzarella? It’s absolute heaven and the perfect summer time side dish. Jessie-Sierra Ross, creator of the blog Straight to the Hips Baby, joins us with how to make the Tomato Mozzarella Panzanella Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large loaf of good crusty bread… I prefer sourdough
  • 5-6 large ripe tomatoes roughly diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound buffalo mozzarella roughly diced into bite sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Take the loaf of bread and cube it into bite sized pieces. Reserve.In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium-high heat until just slightly foamy. Add the cubed bread and coat completely with the butter/olive oil mix. Add a heavy pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Toss to coat
Transfer to a cookie sheet, making sure the bread is spread out in one even layer. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of garlic powder over the bread. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turning the pan halfway through baking.
I like to broil the bread for an additional 2-4 minutes, to give it a more toasty flavor. Keep a sharp eye on it to prevent burning!

While the bread is baking, prepare the tomatoes and mozzarella. Wash, dry, and chop a handful of fresh basil leaves, leaving some whole for garnish.

Once the bread has finished toasting, remove from the oven to cool slightly. Assemble your dressing (see below). Combine all of the ingredients and half the dressing (always start with less and add more as needed) 10 minutes before serving, in a large salad bowl and toss well. Your bread should be coated, but not swimming in dressing. Add more if desired.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately. Serves 8

Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • heavy pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

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