Panzanella

  • 45 min prep time
  • Serves 8-10

ingredients

Salad:

8 cups olive load or similar artisan bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/3 cup + 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided 

2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided 

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided 

2 tsp. Italian herb blend or mix of dried oregano and basil

2 oz. Beecher's Handmade Smoked Flagship cheese or parmesan cheese, shredded

3 bell peppers, a mix of colors or all red, cut into 1-inch dice

1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slivers

1 bunch flathead (Italian) parsley, washed, dried and roughly chopped

1/2 small sweet onion, sliced into thin slivers

Dressing:

1/4 cup roasted red peppers in brine

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 tsp. grainy mustard

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped or 3/4 tsp. dried 

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. In a large bowl combine 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and dried herbs. 

3. Toss the bread cubes in the oil mixture to thoroughly coat. Spread bread cubes onto a large rimmed baking pan and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, rotating pan once during baking, until bread cubes are golden and dried throughout. Remove pan from oven, increasing temperature to 375°F.

4. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the baked bread cubes, not all will be covered. Return pan to oven to melt cheese, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from oven to cool. 

5. Toss the bell pepper pieces with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, don't overcrowd. If needed use two separate baking sheets. Roast the peppers at 375°F until browned on the edges and softened. 

6. While the peppers roast, using the same bowl that the peppers were mixed in add the red onion slivers and the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Toss to coat with oil and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375°F until the onions are softened and beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from oven to cool. 

7. Combine all ingredients for dressing in a blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning. 

Assemble the dish;

8. In a large bowl combine the baked bread cubes, roasted peppers, roasted red onion, parsley, and sweet onion. Pour about half the dressing over the mixture, toss, taste for seasoning and add more dressing if desired.