Italian Panzanella Salad

Serves 6
  • 1 loaf Kowalski's Italian Bread
  • 3 tbsp. Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, scored, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia onion slices
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecorino cheese, shaved

Trim ends off of bread; cut remainder of loaf into 1" cubes. In large bowl, drizzle 3 tbsp. olive oil over bread cubes, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350° oven until browned and crisp, rearranging to evenly brown (about 25 min.). In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions, basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add croutons, tossing to completely combine. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Good to Know:

  • To score cucumber, place cut end on counter; starting at the opposite end, pull fork down skin repeating around entire cucumber.
  • To make basil slivers, layer several leaves on top of each other; roll tightly. Using a kitchen scissors, cut crosswise along the length of the basil leaves.
  • To shave cheese, use a vegetable peeler to make wide strips.