Panzanella is an Italian salad that typically consists of the following basic elements: day-old bread, diced onions, and ripe tomatoes. Many other ingredients can be added, but I prefer variations that highlight the pure fresh flavor of in-season tomatoes. This recipe is Top Chef Masters runner up Michael Chiarello's version. Although he says one should peel, seed, and drain the tomatoes, I skip this step all together. With its burst in your mouth tomatoes, crunchy cheesy croutons, and peppery crisp arugula, this is my favorite Summer panzanella. I've made it countless times over the years and my guests are always impressed. To introduce your friends and family to this scrumptious salad, get the recipe.
Serves 4-6. Panzanella Croutons: Makes about 6 cups.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Makes about 6 cups.