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Upper Crusts: Fabulous Ways To Use Bread
Panzanella, one of Tuscany's great salads, is a simple marriage of day-old bread, tomatoes, cucumber or onion, and oil and vinegar. Sometimes referred to as a poor man's salad, or summer salad, it sustained many generations of Italian peasants. Variations of this salad call for fresh basil leaves. For an easy warm-weather entree, toss in strips of grilled chicken breast just before serving.
Serves 6 to 8.
• 1 loaf stale firm, country-style bread
• 1 & 1/4 cups water
• 9 ripe tomatoes, diced
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley or 1/2 cup sliced basil leaves
• 1 & 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cut bread into large chunks and place in large bowl. Toss with water to moisten it completely and let stand 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water, and coarsely chop bread into smaller cubes.
Place in bowl, and toss with tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, and rosemary.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss into salad, blending well.
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