Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Also known as Tuscan Bread Salad, Panzanella offers up the best of what summer has
to offer: tomatoes and basil

In my version the bread becomes part of the dressing

4 lbs fresh heirloom summer tomatoes
1 medium shallot, minced
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced into a paste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons
House or kosher salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
10 ounces stale or oven dried crusty bread (Ciabatta recommended)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Core and chop the tomatoes into 2 inch pieces and place in a non-reactive bowl. Add
the minced shallot and garlic, salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine and allow to sit
at room temperature for 15 minutes

Half way through the marinating period fill a bowl with ice water and add the torn
bread, submerging it fully

After the 15 minutes are up, drain the bread through a fine sieve, squeeze dry and rub
through your fingers into the marinated vegetables

Add the basil leaves and gently but thoroughly combine everything together

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours
before serving

Leftover Panzanella, if there is any, will keep up to 2 days and should be served at
room temperature