Recipe courtesy of David Rosengarten

Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

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  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings.
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1 pound English cucumbers

1 pound sweet onions, (such as Vidalia, Walla Walla or Maui)


1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium)

1 pound coarse rustic or Italian-style bread, crusts removed, torn in large chunks and left to stale 1 week

1/2 cup torn basil leaves

6 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Peel cucumbers leaving some green skin in alternating strips; slice as thinly as possible. Slice onions as thinly as possible. In a colander, toss cucumber and onion slices with 2 teaspoons salt. Weight with a plate and let drain 20 minutes. Quarter, then thinly slice tomatoes.
  2. In a large bowl of cold water soak staled bread just until it loses its firmness and becomes spongy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If you have let your bread get stale for less than 2 days, just run it briefly under cold, running water.) Using your hands, gently squeeze out water without compacting bread too much. Tear into pieces about 1/2-inch wide and 3-inches long.
  3. In a large bowl combine soaked bread, cucumbers and onions, tomatoes, basil, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.