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Tomato and grilled bread salad with fresh cheese

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy and quick

Heirloom tomatoes and day-old bread

Some of the best dishes I have ever eaten are extremely simple, but made with farm-fresh ingredients. My friend Mike made this excellent panzanella salad with vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes for us at his farmhouse in Napa Valley. Sitting on the porch, watching the sky darken, drinking a glass of wine and eating this simply delicious salad. It doesn't get better than this!

Vine-ripened tomatoes

Nothing beats a vine-ripened tomato. If you have even a tiny spot of sunshine to plant a pot of tomatoes the effort will be worth your while. If not, consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization.

Click to download our free e-cookbook: 15 Recipes To Make You Look Like A Star

Day old bread

The Italians are genius at using day-old bread for the better. Panzanella salad and Ribolita soup are two of my favorites ways to use up stale bread. Grilling the bread with a bit of olive oil gives the bread a bit of crunch. When the grilled bread absorbes the olive oil and vinegar magic happens.

Buffalo mozzarella or burrata

If you are fortunate enough to have some fresh buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese, serve it with this salad. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper. You won't be disappointed!

Tomato and grilled bread salad with fresh cheese

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 -8 servings

Heirloom tomatoes and grilled bread dressed with first press olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a chiffonade of basil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and if you are lucky, a bit of fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil, plus some to brush on bread
  • Fresh cracked pepper and Maldon salt to taste
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced
  • 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes cut in chunks
  • Handful of basil, chiffonade
  • Buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put balsamic vinegar in a bowl large enough to hold the tomatoes and bread. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Brush the ciabatta bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted. Cut toasted bread into bite-sized chunks. Put tomatoes and bread chunks and chiffonade basil in a bowl with half the dressing and toss, adding more dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Plate each serving with a chunk of fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese drizzled with a little of the dressing.

 

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