Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tomato Heaven

It is finally that time of year again.  Tomato season....which means I can make my favorite panzanella salad!  It is so easy to make and perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.  Here's the rundown if you want to make it for yourself.

What You'll Need:
1 loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread
1 head of garlic
salt & pepper
olive oil
tomatos (all kinds and colors)
corn on the cob
shaved parmesan

I start by making my homemade croutons.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then begin slicing the loaf of bread into 1"-2" squares and rectangles.  Place the cut bread into a ziploc baggie then add freshly chopped garlic (I leave the pieces somewhat large), melted butter and olive oil.  Seal the bag then shake it up to coat the bread then spread it out evenly on a baking sheet.  The croutons bake until they are golden brown and need to be flipped over a few times.  While the croutons bake, grill the corn on the BBQ (usually in foil with a little butter, salt & pepper).  Chop up as many tomatoes as you desire for the salad.  I love to buy all colors, heirlooms and cherry to get a nice mix of tastes and colors.  Add in chopped fresh basil, shaved parmesan, and once the corn and croutons are cooled to room temperature add them into the salad too.  Top it off with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Generally I don't like salads the next day, but this one keeps pretty well and the croutons are even good since they have soaked up some of the balsamic and olive oil!  I think this salad pairs really well with a grilled piece of sea bass, salmon, or even a little grilled breast of chicken.

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