PANZANELLA SALAD WITH FRESH PEACHES

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You all know by now how much I love  organic summer fruits and vegetables. I constantly think about different ways to use them before the season is over.

I’m a big salad eater and have salad with every meal, sometimes even breakfast!

I’m always thinking about different combinations and unique ways to serve them. One of my favorite summertime salad is Panzanella.

It is very popular in the summer.

Panzanella Salad is a rustic Tuscan chopped salad of torn up stale bread and tomatoes originally made in people’s homes. It was the custom of people who lived in the country to soak their old, stale bread in water and mix it with vegetables from the garden.

We are not soaking the torn bread in water, instead we are drizzling a good green extra virgin olive oil with a bit of salt, mixing together and toasting in a skillet on the stove. When added to the salad the bread soaks up some of the vinaigrette.  It’s crunchy and full of flavor.

Even though peaches are not the norm in a Panzanella salad add them in. It’s a pleasant surprise and adds a fresh, clean, sweet taste to this summer salad!

     

INGREDIENTS

FRENCH BREAD

1 small French bread cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

SALAD 

2 cups red and yellow  cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

4 cups of wild or baby arugula

1 English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and slices ½ thick

½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/2  inch pieces

½ red onion, peeled and sliced thin

20 large fresh basil leaves rolled tightly and sliced thin

8 fresh mint leaves chopped coarsely

20 whole purple grapes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup of parmesan cheese chopped into ¼ inch chunks

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 peaches, pitted, skinned and sliced, pour the 3 tablespoons of lemon over peaches to keep them from turning brown. Cover with wrap and set aside.

 

VINAIGRETTE

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove peeled and smashed open

Whisk the first 6 ingredients together. Add the garlic clove and set

aside.

TOASTING FRENCH BREAD

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and sprinkle over salt, mix.  Cook over low to medium heat, and toss frequently, for 10 minutes or until nicely browned and crunchy.

In a large bowl, gently toss  the tomatoes, arugula, cucumber, red bell pepper, onion, basil, mint, grapes, salt, add the bread cubes. Remove the garlic from vinaigrette then pour over the salad and toss.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese, and lay in the fresh peaches!

 

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