The taste of fresh tomatoes and the bacon in this Panzanella makes all the difference. It is Yummy in the Summer, and not too shabby anytime you can get fresh tomatoes.
french bread cut into 1-inch cubes and dried overnight
bacon, cooked, chopped, drippings reserved
halved grape tomatoes
bacon drippings, for searing
halved yellow pear tomatoes or roughly chopped heirloom tomatoes
chopped romaine lettuce
red wine vinegar
each salt and pepper
1Toss bread cubes in 2-4 Tbsp of the bacon drippings. Prepare remaining Salad ingredients, set aside.
2Chiffonade basil and mint and set aside for garnish.(You can also make more basil /mint chiffonade to add while tossing the salad if desired)
3Sear the halved grape tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of drippings, cut side down, until caramelized about 5 minutes, set aside. (You can substitute regular vegetable or olive oil for the drippings for this step
if you prefer)
4Combine red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, slowly whisk in olive oil in a thin stream until emulsified
5Combine all tomatoes, bread, bacon, and lettuce and dress with vinaigrette, toss well. (Add extra basil/mint here if you like)
6Garnish with mint and basil and serve.