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Recipe: Summer Panzanella Salad with Tomato and Garden Herb Vinaigrette

Photo courtesy of Culina Modern
Photo courtesy of Culina Modern

Tuscan salads like this one from Culina Modern are just so summery and perfect for any warm weather potluck or picnic. Tomatoes taste their best and brightest around this time of year -- we like this combination of fresh and slow-roasted ones for a contrast of flavor and texture. Enjoy!

Summer Panzanella Salad with Tomato and Garden Herb Vinaigrette
Serves 2

Salad
1 cup ciabatta croutons, either cubed or torn pieces
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup patty pan squash, halved
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup combination of fresh and slow-roasted tomatoes (use quartered red & yellow tomatoes)
1/4 cup taggiasca olives
1/4 cup tomato & garden herb vinaigrette (recipe follows)
5 large basil leaves torn
Salt/pepper, as needed
Torn basil leaves, to garnish

Tomato & Garden Herb Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chervil, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato puree
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato puree

 

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For vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the oils. Whisk together to combine, then gradually whisk in the hazelnut and olive oils.

For Ciabatta Croutons: Toss ciabatta cubes/pieces with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread out into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 6 minutes or until golden in color.

For Squash: Cut in half, then on bias. At medium high heat, in a hot pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and add squash. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Once seared on both sides hit it with 2T sherry vinegar. Sautée for 15 seconds then remove and allow to cool.

For Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Toss tomatoes with no olive oil. Spread out into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 250 degrees for 3 hours or until desired dryness is achieved. Preserve in 1 cup of olive oil and 2 sprigs of thyme and rosemary, if desired.

For Assembly: Combine ciabatta croutons, squash, fresh and slow-roasted tomatoes, olives, basil, and 1/4 cup of dressing. Season as desired with salt and black pepper.

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