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New & Improved Panzanella Salad

I remember being a child and hating Sundays. Sundays were always a sad reminder that the weekend was almost over and a new school week was upon us. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to appreciate and actually love Sundays. Sundays are my day of productivity and most importantly, cooking.

I had the perfect Sunday yesterday. Working in the catering/events industry, my Fridays and Saturdays are typically spent working weddings and other social events. This past Friday and Saturday were a doozy with two large, labor-intense weddings. I woke up yesterday feeling tired and somewhat sluggish but then thought to myself “no, I’m going to make today as productive and fun as I can.” So, I did.

I got dressed and went to the local farmer’s market where I bought the tomatoes and bread for this recipe. It’s so nice to support local farmers and eat foods that are fresh and organic. I then went to a Soul Cycle spin class (highly recommend!) where I sweat out all of the toxins and stress from the previous week. Then, I stopped at the grocery on the way home to get the remaining ingredients for this recipe. It felt so good to get so much accomplished before noon.

What makes this panzanella recipe different from others you might be asking? Well, the peppers are charred on the grill which gives the salad a new, rustic flair and balances nicely with the tangy pickled red onions. In addition, the salumi is a really nice, salty touch.

For this recipe you will need:

1 large red bell pepper, grilled & diced

1 large orange bell pepper, grilled & diced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup organic baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Fresh basil & oregano, torn into pieces

1/2 loaf country-style bread

3 oz salumi, thinly sliced

4 oz fresh mozzarella or buratta cheese, torn into pieces

1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Begin by pickling the red onion. Bring the red wine vinegar & sugar to a rolling simmer. Once it is hot and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the thinly sliced red onion. Allow to sit for 2 hours.
  2. Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a pot over medium heat until it is thick and syrupy. Set aside.
  3. Next, fire up the grill! Cut the bell peppers into quarters. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the grill is nice and hot, grill the peppers until the skin is black and charred. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cut the bread into 1″ slices. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill the bread until it’s crispy and has nice grill marks on both sides.
  5. Back to the bell peppers – remove the black layer and dice the peppers.
  6. Add the peppers to a large bowl with the minced garlic, tomatoes, torn basil & oregano, salumi, mozzarella, and red pepper flakes.
  7. Season the salad with salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Place the grilled bread on a plate and top with the salad & drizzle of the balsamic reduction.

 

So yummy & fun to prepare! Enjoy!!

XX,

Jill

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