Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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PANZANELLA                                          Williams-Sonoma

(Italian bread salad - serves 6) 

2 tomatoes (good quality) cut into bite size pieces
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small red (Spanish) onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 TBSP. Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 - 8 thick cut slices country white bread (dense) torn into bite-size pieces

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion and torn basil.  Drizzle with the oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss well.  Place half of the bread in a wide, shallow wooden bowl.  Scoop half the vegetables over the bread.  Layer remaining bread on top and then remaining vegetables.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.  Toss salad and adjust seasonings as needed.  If bread is dry, add a little oil or vinegar.  Serve immediately.