Inspired by the last batch of heirloom tomatoes pulled from our garden, I made this riff on panzanella last weekend for lunch. Traditional panzanella is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that’s popular in the summer. I used mixed greens as the base of mine and less bread, plus some other secret ingredients to pack in tons of flavor–kidney beans, roasted peppers, Gorgonzola, and a super fresh lemon-garlic vinaigrette. It’s not too late to whip up this vibrant salad yourself to take advantage of the last of the season’s tomatoes…get to it!
Panzanella Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Half of a fresh, crusty sourdough baguette
2-4 heirloom tomatoes, depending on their size, chopped
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Lemon olive oil or lemon juice
1 small clove of garlic, minced
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Chop the sourdough baguette into bite-sized pieces or cubes. If your baguette is soft (no crunchy outer layer), consider toasting or grilling the bread first. Prepare all the salad ingredients in separate bowls–chopped tomatoes, rinsed beans, sliced onion, chopped peppers, crumbled cheese. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon olive oil or lemon juice, minced garlic, and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium mixing bowl, add enough mixed greens for two people, then drizzle with the lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Toss to coat leaves with dressing. Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, and beans to the salad greens, tossing again to coat everything (add more dressing if desired). Divide the dressed greens, tomatoes, beans, and bread into two bowls, then top with the onion, roasted peppers, and Gorgonzola.