Summer is my favorite season, so the end of the season is always bittersweet. There’s the promise of the crisp beauty of fall and all the Autumn flavors that I love but it’s hard for me to let go of the hot sunny days that remind me of vacations, popsicles, and the beach.
The Panzanella salad recipe that we have for you today is the swan’s song to the abundance of summer and the bounty that comes at the end of the season. If you have a garden and are looking for something to do with all those extra tomatoes, squash, basil and peppers this is the recipe for you! Since Nathan and I do not have a garden, we loaded up on all the beautiful veggies at the local farmer’s market and celebrated the end of summer with this zesty and complex salad that combines fresh summer veggies, crusty bread and a garlicky, citrusy homemade dressing. What better way to say farewell to my favorite time of year?
Nathan and I picked up this bottle of wine while visiting my grandparent’s at their summer home in St. Michael’s, MD. When we visit St. Michael’s we always stop in at the winery and the Eastern Shore brewery for a tasting! This Sauvignon Blanc was perfect for the salad because it complemented the light, zesty flavor of the salad with crisp and dry notes of melon and apple. This is one of those wines that I would really only want to drink on a warm day with a light meal…like the Panzanella!
One of Katryn’s coworkers (a faithful follower of Rampant Cuisine!) generously gave her this beer that was brewed by a neighbor and named after the road that they both live on. The ‘Meem Cream Ale’ is a light ale with a smooth finish that is perfect for the end of the summer season. This post is for you, Mr. Meem Road Homebrewer!
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small crusty sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 large ripe tomatoes (we used red, green and yellow tomatoes), cut into 1-inch cubes
3-4 small squash or zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
2-3 bell peppers (red, green, yellow or purple!) seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 radishes, chopped
1 small red onion, cut in half and thinly slice
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
For the vinaigrette
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil if needed. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, squash/zucchini, peppers, radishes, red onion, and basil. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.