It's a bread salad.
Usually made with chunks of stale bread and tomatoes and dressed with just olive oil and vinegar. Maybe add some onion and basil - and in this case several other items I found in the kitchen.
What I ended up with is probably blasphemy to a true Italian (I imagine Joe Bastianich would have my ass for calling this Panzanella) but this salad was wonderful and filling and again - used many of the ingredients from one of my Farmers Market visits.
I added cucumbers and capers and made basil croutons instead of using plain
bread. Also made an olive oil and lavender honey vinaigrette and used some fresh squeezed lemon juice.
The recipe posted here is how I made this. Make whatever changes suit you.
YOU WILL NEED:
1 loaf French bread - cut into half inch cubes.
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 cucumber - cut into chunks.
1 pint red cherry tomatoes.
1 pint small sweet yellow tomatoes.
1 red onion - sliced thin.
1 4 ounce jar capers - rinsed and drained.
1 cup feta cheese
half a red bell pepper - sliced (this went in because I found it in the refrigerator and figured why not?)
around a half cup of vinaigrette dressing(recipe follows)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Lavender honey (regular honey works fine)
1 cup of regular olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
oven to 350
Place all the chunks of bread in a large bowl and toss with the dried basil and 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Spread the pieces out in a single layer onto a large baking sheet.
You want each piece to toast - not steam - so the single layer is important.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes - until most all the pieces are golden brown.
Set aside and let cool completely.
Make the vinaigrette.
Chop up all other ingredients. I sliced all those tomatoes in half.
Yes...I've lost my damn mind but they just seem easier to eat sliced in half.
(I know....I'm sure it's just me)
Make sure you don't forget to rinse those capers!
Assemble your salad a half hour or so before serving - including the dressing - taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Let sit at room temperature for a short while so all your flavors come together. Right before serving give it all another good mixing - add the fresh basil and mint - mix again then sprinkle the Feta cheese on top - some fresh ground pepper - enjoy!