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Summer Panzanella with Rosemary Sourdough Croutons

This beautiful salad is mostly fresh, raw veggies in a tasty vinaigrette. You'll only have to turn the oven on to toast the croutons, making it perfect for the middle of summer. 
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 loaf rosemary olive oil sourdough bread, like La Brea , cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large , ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber , unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper , seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper , seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion , cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
  • 20 large basil leaves , coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers , drained (we generally toss the entire jar in if it's small...)
  • 1 15 oz can white beans drained

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt. (You may need to toast the bread in smaller batches so that there's just a single layer of bread at a time. Toast 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. This recipe makes great leftovers, as it just continues to get better the longer the veggies marinate in the vinaigrette. Enjoy! 
    *adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe