Last week, I ended up with an overabundance of my no-knead bread. I had baked an extra loaf to take to the DVP meet & greet, for bread & spreads – and it didn’t all end up getting eaten. So the other night I decided to make this Panzanella. It was my first time making a Panzanella, but it definitely won’t be the last. It’s kinda like taking all the delicious, yummy toppings of a loaded up salad, and ditching the lettuce – can’t say it’s the most healthy salad, but it sure is delicious.
The inspiration to make a panzanella came from this post that I saw over on Smitten Kitchen a while back. It was a while ago, but I had kind of kept it in the back of my mind as a “I should make that one day…” kind of dish. So the other day, when I went poking around in the fridge and realized that I had some firm cheese, tomatoes from my most recent box from FFTY and an overabundance of stale-or-almost-stale bread, it seemed like the perfect time.
I started out making the croutons – I wasn’t sure if I would end up using all of them (I did) but my freezer already has a bunch of stale bread that I need to use up (probably another stuffing or panzanella in my future) so I figured that even if I had leftover croutons, they wouldn’t go to waste. In fact, in general – this is a great dish for making sure things don’t go to waste, just use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand.
I made this the night that Mr. Man was off helping our friends move. Originally, it was intended to be a side to another dish, but when Mr. Man came home, he wanted to spend some time with me (outside the kitchen!) so I wrapped it up after making this salad and skipped making anything to go with it. Which turned out okay because this is actually hearty enough to be a main course. We even had enough leftovers for everyone to have some for lunch the next day. The croutons are also great by themselves – in fact, while I was assembling the rest of the ingredients, Mr. Man kept swiping the croutons and snacking on them.
- 8 cups stale Bread Cube (I used a mix of wheat and white)
- 1 stick butter; melted
- 1 tbs Brown Mustard
- 2 tbs Roasted Garlic
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil; divided
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup White Wine
- 3 radishes; sliced
- 8 oz Baby tomatoes; cut in to halves
- 1 head green garlic; sliced
- 2 small avocados (or 1 large)
- 1 lemon; juiced
- 7 oz Paneer Cheese; cut in to 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 cup Fresh Basil; finely chopped
- Kosher Salt
- Preheat Oven to 350°
- Mix together the melted butter, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the mustard and roasted garlic along with about 1/2 a tsp Kosher Salt
- In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the butter mixture
- Spread the coated bread cubes on to a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until crisped and golden – about 30 minutes
- Cut the avocados in to 1″ cubes and toss with the lemon juice
- In a large bowl, toss together the toasted bread cubes, tomatoes, green garlic slices, paneer, lemon juice and avocado, basil, remaining olive oil, vinegar, the white wine and kosher salt to taste
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for an hour or two to let the flavors meld