Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Panzanella Croutons, recipe follows
  • 2 cups trimmed arugula
  • Wedge Parmesan, for shaving
Directions
  • Drain the tomatoes in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  • In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well.

  • Divide tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.

  • Michael's Notes: I've used basil and tarragon here, but you can use any herbs you like. Parsley and marjoram come to mind as good alternatives.

Panzanella Croutons:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)

  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and preheat a cookie sheet in it.

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese.

  • Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

  • Michael's Notes: I use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Also note that I recommend grating the Parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.

  • Yield: about 6 cups


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