Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Panzanella Salad with Bacon and Herb Vinairgrette

I picked the last of the garden tomatoes, sweet & succulent for this salad. Panzanella Salad is a rustic, Italian bread salad made with fresh ingredients, however, I added bacon for additional flavor and we loved it. Freshly made, Herb Vinaigrette Dressing is the perfect accompaniment to this salad. Enjoy!

The bread soaks up the vinaigrette and juices from the tomatoes…sooo yummy!

Ingredients

6-8 slices of baked bacon, chopped into chunks
4 cups tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, small cubes
½ cup sliced black olives, or green olives

4-6 cups day old crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into large cubes~leave the crusts on for additional flavor.*

1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley
¼ cup red onion, medium dice
1 bunch fresh basil, finely julienned or * ½ tablespoon dry, basil in the vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste

Herb Vinaigrette Dressing

¾ c. light olive oil
½ c. red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
*2 teaspoons dried basil (if you do not have fresh available to add directly to the salad)
1/2 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped, fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
½ tablespoon finely chopped, fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
½ tablespoon tarragon or 3/4 teaspoons dried
Salt & pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients in a tall canning jar, and shake until well mixed and emulsified.

Prepare the Ingredients

Fresh ingredients, good quality olive oil and herbs…

I used a serrated knife, to prepare the bread quickly and easily.

Perfectly baked bacon, is roughly chopped.

Fresh herbs from plants I’m overwintering, add a wonderful,fresh note to the herb vinaigrette dressing.

Finely minced, the kitchen smells fantastic!

Fresh tomatoes from the garden, quartered or halved make this a memorable salad.

Assemble all of the ingredients for the salad into a large bowl

Make the herb vinaigrette dressing.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, lightly toss the salad so the bread soaks up & marinates for at least 30 minutes, and serve. A nice bottle of wine and fresh fruit round out this delicious and lovely salad. Enjoy!

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