The time for panzanella has arrived!  Panzanella is a Florentine bread and tomato salad beloved all over the world.  It’s very simple and easy to make.  The secret to making a great version of this dish to make sure you have the best and freshest ingredients you can get.  I would suggest going to your favorite local market earlier than usual so you can get your hands on some fantastic cherry red and sungold tomatoes.  Other hot items you need for this dish are red onions and basil sprigs.  The basil is growing robustly in my garden but the tomatoes have not ripened yet.  I’m patiently waiting.  Thank goodness for farmers’ markets.

Summer in a Bowl



  • 1/2 loaf of a day or two day old bread (Madison Sourdough)
  • 1 T. butter (Shullsburg Creamery)
  • a quart of cherry tomatoes (Shooting Star Farm)
  • basil (from the garden)
  • 1/2 red onion (Shooting Star Farm)
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic (from the garden)
  • salt
  • black pepper

Cut or tear up the bread into small pieces.  Heat the butter in a pan and toast the bread until you get some golden brown coloring then set aside.  In a bowl put in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, thinly sliced onions, halved tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes for the salt to draw out the juices from the onions and tomatoes (this will soften the bread a bit and flavor it).  Toss in the bread and add your basil.  Use your hands to mix the salad and give it a little squeeze.  Top with some parmigiano if you like.  Cheers!



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