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Panzanella With Burrata

Panzanella [pantsaˈnella] is a wonderful option for warm summer nights.  It is a salad with bread! What could be better than that?  Try this for your Saturday night enjoyment and if you need a little extra protein, grill some seafood to serve on the side with perhaps a chopped tomato and watermelon salsa.

What you need for the salad:

  • 3 cups of your lettuce of choice: sweet butter; romaine, a little arugula.
  • 4-5 ounces or about 3 cups of Italian bread or baguette, stale, or toasted. Rip/cut into small cubes, maybe an inch or so.
  • 2 pounds of heirloom tomatoes- mix up the colors. I used red and yellow. Cut into bite size pieces.
  • one small red onion thinly sliced.
  • thinly sliced baby cucumbers- 2-3 depending on the size.
  • 1/4 cup of mixed olives.
  • handful of shredded basil leaves.
  • same with the parsley.
  • 2-3 good size balls of Burrata.
  • Reduction of Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle.  I prefer the brand Fini Modena with Porcini Mushrooms.

What you need for the salad dressing:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  • juice of a whole lemon, maybe a little pulp and zest for good measure.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • few shakes of capers.

What to do for the salad:

  • If you are toasting the bread, you can rub with olive oil and crushed fresh garlic and bake/broil in the oven until toasted. If not, hold aside for now.
  • Using a large round bowl about 2 inches in depth, create the salad working from the outside leaving a space in the middle for the Burrata.
  • Start with the lettuce, add the onions, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs.
  • Sprinkle the toasted bread cubes intermittently.
  • Place the balls of Burrata in the center.
  • Now make the dressing:

What to do for the dressing:

In a small glass measuring dish (Pyrex) add the ingredients.  It’s your call if you like the lemon flavor strong or weak.  Add the capers last.  I use my favorite seasoning, “ariosto Aglio e Peperoncino”.  It is spicy and good. If you do not have something like this, use a smidge of red pepper flakes.  Now whisk it up and you are good to go.

Finish it: finiscilo:

Drizzle the olive oil dressing over the salad working from the outside in. Then take the balsamic reduction and drizzle over the entire salad.  You can add a little extra over the Burrata.

Serve and enjoy perhaps with a nice light (Italian) white wine.

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