– this is a salad you may have seen here before in various forms, it is a favorite of ours and one we both make for ourselves and families at least once a week. that’s why we had to share this five minute salad again with you all along with some alternate suggestions should you be inclined to switch it up! follow along below to check out the recipe again:
– i start off with these basic ingredients and keep them on hand each week when i restock my fridge. for this recipe i tried out Udi’s Gluten Free French Loaf as the only “new” ingredient. Olio Carli olive oil is my absolute FAVORITE olive oil and it’s the only oil that my husbands Italian Zia uses in Italy. there are 2 versions of this oil, one with a green label that you can find at Whole Foods and this one with the mustard yellow label that can be found at Gourmet Warehouse. i’ve tried both and still prefer the yellow labeled olive oil. it’s a bit on the expensive side ($23 a bottle) so i use it as a dressing only and buy a more affordable olive oil for cooking.
– other than a good olive oil, the other thing that makes this salad for me is the fresh mozzarella. i like a soft mozza, like Burrata or Fiore de Latte but you could use whatever soft cheese you like.
– fresh tomatoes are essential, this is a bread and tomato salad and since the summer season is tomato season make sure to look for fresh, local picks at your grocery store or head to your local farmers market for the best picks! these are a mix of heirloom and cherry tomatoes that i picked up at the Trout Lake Farmers market.
– we are on a quest to replace regular bread in our house and I’m trying out a new type in this recipe. as with most gluten free breads, i find they taste better toasted and this one from Udi’s is no different. i picked it up in the freezer section, let it defrost, cubed it, drizzled with my Olio Carli oil and popped it in a 375 degree oven until golden. it’s important to toast the bread as it will turn to mush in the dressing if you don’t.
– i also add cubed cucumber, avocado, julienne basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese to this recipe. you could also add canned tuna ( in olive oil preferably) chicken, lettuce and even olives. arrange it on plates or throw everything in a bowl and toss it together.
– shave your parm with a vegetable peeler or a grater, whatever you prefer.
– drizzle with olive oil, top with pine nuts (or any favorite nuts) add the soft mozzarella and bread cubes.
– for this version i love Nonna Pia’s Original Balsamic Reduction but have also used red wine vinegar as well. Nonna Pia’s is available at most grocery stores and specialty cooking stores. find the full recipe below:
5 Minute Panzanella Salad
1/2 lb fresh tomatoes, varying sizes and colors or cherry tomatoes
thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cubed field cucumber
julienne fresh basil
fresh mozzarella ( burrata or fiore de latte)
Parmesan cheese grated or sliced
cubed bread, toasted
balsamic vinegar reduction ( Nonna Pia’s)
– preheat your oven to 375 degrees, cube bread and place on oiled sheet pan. drizzle bread cubes with olive oil and place in the oven until LIGHT golden brown.
– slice tomatoes in half ( for small) or quarter for bigger ones, peel and cube your cucumber, thinly slice your red onion and place in a large bowl with torn pieces of mozzarella, grated or shaved Parmesan, pine nuts and the cubed avocado.
– once the bread is toasted, place it in the bowl with the rest of your ingredients, drizzle with more olive oil and the balsamic reduction and toss until incorporated!
We hope you enjoy this five minute salad recipe just as much as we do!