Nothing is more perfect on a picnic-friendly day than a giant bowl of panzanella, or Italian bread salad. Traditionally, the resourceful Tuscans stretched day-old bread by using torn pieces to soak up the liquid in a tomato, cucumber, onion, and basil salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
But Italian chef Chris Cosentino takes panzanella in a different direction by putting a dessert spin on it with Summer stone fruits and a luscious zabaglione flavored by Moscato d'Asti. The result is a lighter, fresher version of bread pudding. Can't decide between a sweet and savory bread salad? Then make both. For the recipes, read more.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar Serves 10. 2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces Serves 4 to 6.
1 tablespoon hot water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 3/4-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
4 pounds mixed stone fruits, such as peaches, apricots and plums, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Moscato d’Asti
8 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 Tbs. balsamic or red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 to 8 thick slices country-style white bread, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
Serves 4 to 6.