PANZANELLA/ A FRUGAL ITALIAN BREAD SALAD

Here’s a short unsophisticated Italian video you can use as a tutorial

Bread is revered by all Italians and for many centuries it was only an occasional treat for most. Seeing to it that not even a crust went to waste has long been anItalian skill and this construct is one of my favorites.  Again the recipe is only a guide and you can use whatever you have on hand just as they would have in the old country.  Fresh herbs, vegetables, good olive oil, and imported grating cheese are the prerequisites. If you don’t like the crunch of raw vegetables you can blanch them or buy a jar of Giardiniera (pickled vegetables) in their stead.  You can also throw in your choice of protein if you wish.  The vegetables can be quick pickled by just bringing them to a boil in a solution of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of pickling spice that allowed to steep at room temperature or overnight.  The vegetable choices are up to you and can be fortified with canned artichoke hearts, garbanzo or white beans, pesto sauce or almost anything you’d like including protein like salami or tuna.  The bread cubes can be stale, oven roasted or broiled – it’s up to you and your schedule.  And in a pinch just nuke the fresh veggies in the microwave in a little pickle juice or broil on the grill. You want to use a bread with substance like sour dough, ciabatta or focaccia if they’re available

8 ounces bread, stale or toasted, cubed 1”

3 carrots, pickled, broiled or roasted

3 ounces cauliflower pickled, broiled or roasted

3 ounces zucchini, pickled, broiled or roasted

3 ounces celery, pickled, broiled or roasted

3 ounces garbanzo, white or kidney beans, canned

3 ounces roasted red pepper, minced

3 ounces red onions, diced

3 ounces virgin olive oil

3 ounces vinegar, red, white, or balsamic

To taste fresh herbs and/or capers

To taste garlic minced

To taste salt, pepper, granulated base

To taste protein hard boiled eggs, tuna in oil, chicken,
beef or salami

1.  Blanch the  raw vegetables in one of the suggested
methods or open a jar of giardiniera and drain.

2.  Combine everything
except the bread cubes and toss well.

3.  Add the bread
cubes, toss, adjust seasoning and serve on a bed of lettuce or polenta.