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Panzanella Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes and Basil

March 17, 2010

Panzanella Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes and Basil

Maybe I’m a little nutty, but I’m pretty sure that every summertime issue of Cooking Light features a Panzanella salad.  I’ve never made one, but I thought it would be a good dinner tonight, especially since we went out for Restaurant Week yesterday and ate really well.  No, it’s not the traditional corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty’s Day, but it IS green!  That has to count for something.

To be fair, I’m still not entirely certain what makes a Panzanella salad any different from a regular ol’ salad with homemade croutons, but it was still great, and very easy.  I think you’ll enjoy it. (Just as a side note, we halved this recipe, but left the dressing amount the same — because we like things saucy, hence the name of the blog.)

Panzanella Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes and Basil

from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007

serves 6

  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 c. vertically sliced red onion
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 8-oz. loaf day-old French bread, cut into 1″ cubes.
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 c. torn romaine lettuce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Stir with a whisk.  Add tomato, onion, basil and bacon.  Toss well and set aside.
  3. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and bake in oven for 15 minutes; cool.  Add bread and lettuce to tomato mixture.  Toss gently to combine and serve immediately.
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