Story: I saw a recipe for Panzanella awhile back and it sounded delicious. Then I made the Anadama bread from the Bread Baker's Apprentice cookbook. I saw a match made in heaven. Anadama bread has some cornmeal in it that adds a slight bite or grit to the bread which makes it perfect for soaking up flavors, but maintaining a bread texture. Unfortunately I made the bread well before any vegetables were mature. I just stuck the second loaf in the freezer and waited for vegetables to mature.
Last night our vegetable bowl was overflowing with garden goodness so it was time!
My serving was too small!
DELICIOUS! Even Jim said the flavor was good. I wanted to eat the entire, giant, family-sized bowl. I would only change 1 or two things if I made it again. I'd add summer squash and I'd have a bit more dressing (if I'm eating right away, if I'm making it for later the dressing probably doesn't need adjusted) so I've adjusted my recipe to reflect more vegetables and more dressing.
Panzanella (basically a combo of leftover garden veges and bread):
loaf of bread
2 or 3 cucumbers, peeled
a bell pepper
2 big tomatoes or a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 summer squash or zucchini, peeled
Any other veges you want to add
red wine vinegar
Cut the bread and vegetables into cubes/cube-like shapes. Lightly toast the bread (or leave out uncovered for a couple hours) You don’t want croutons, but you want it dry-ish.
combine bread and vegetables
Take the leaves off of 2 handfuls of basil, chop, add to vege mixture
Make dressing with finely chopped garlic, 2 T mustard, 1/2 C vinegar and drizzle in 1 cup oil whisk
That should be way more than enough dressing so use about half or 2/3 and toss before adding more
eat right away or let it sit for an hour to really get the flavor going. the bread should still have a bready texture, but be a touch soggy/wet.