I love making my own croutons and use them all the time in soups, salads, and dips. And with fresh veggie season almost upon us, I love to make them the star of my Panzanella salad with fresh, out of the garden vegetables and a light vinaigrette.
Blue Ribbon Recipe
This Panzanella salad tastes like summer. From the fresh cucumber to the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes, and the saltiness of Kalamata olives there are layers and layers of flavors in this side salad. Creamy Fontina cheese marinates in the dressing and absorbs those tangy flavors. What's the star, though, is the homemade croutons. They are easy to make and worth the time. Buttery, salty, and crunchy, the croutons pull the whole salad together.
grated Parmesan cheese, or a little more if you like
prepared Parmesan croutons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
cucumbers seeded, peeled and diced
red onion, thinly sliced
or more Kalamata olives, halved
Fontina cheese diced in 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
How To Make
Test Kitchen Tips
We recommend tossing the veggies in the dressing and then add the croutons about 30 minutes before serving. That will allow the flavors to blend but the croutons won't become too soggy.
To make the croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly rub it with olive oil and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter and oil. When the butter starts to foam and/or bubble, add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds.
Now add the bread cubes. With tongs or a large spoon, coat the cubes with the butter-oil-garlic mixture.
Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper.
Place seasoned cubes in a medium-size brown paper bag and add the Parmesan cheese. Shake the bag until cheese coats the cubes.
Place cheese-coated bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through the baking process.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
To make the salad: Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil and give the grape tomatoes a quick bath in olive oil. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes until tomatoes begin to split. Let cool.
To make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.
In a large bowl combine cooled tomatoes, croutons, cucumber, onion, olives, and cheese.
Toss salad with dressing.
Let flavors meld before serving. Serve in sturdy lettuce cups.
Last Step: Don't forget to share!
Make all your friends drool by posting a picture of your finished recipe on your favorite social
network. And don't forget to tag Just A Pinch and include #justapinchrecipes so we can see it too!
Categories & Tags for Roasted Grape Tomato Panzanella Salad: