Panzanella ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Jannine Fisk in Summer 2006 Taste of Home magazine)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 cups at least day-old ciabatta bread (or French bread or any desired kind of artisan bread),
cut into 1-inch cubes
10 to 20 grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Anaheim pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red/orange/yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
Cucumber/zucchini/yellow squash, diced (optional)
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil (optional)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Coarsely ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
¼ to ½ cup Italian salad dressing
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the bread cubes (in 2 batches if necessary); cook and stir until toasted - about 8 minutes (do this in 2 batches, if necessary).
- In another pan, cook the bacon pieces almost to crisp; remove from heat and drain.
- Combine bread cubes and veggies (except for tomatoes), basil (if using), and pepper and salt and toss to mix well; drizzle Italian dressing over this and toss well to thoroughly mix it in.
- The longer this sets before serving, the better.
- Serve with the tomatoes and bacon as garnishes. More salad dressing can be added to individual servings as desired. This saves well (just save the tomatoes separately) and tastes even better the longer it sits.