Monday, November 17, 2008

Panzanella Heirloom Tomato Salad

serves 4 
2 Large Heirloom Tomatoes (Soft to Touch)
1 English Cucumber sliced into thin Rounds
2 Branches of Purple and/or Green Basil Leaves Torn into peices
½ of One Red Onion Sliced Thin
Burrata Cheese (Fresh Mozzarella Cheese)
½ Loaf of Ciabatta Bread
2 cloves of Raw Garlic
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Good Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher or Sea Salt/Black Pepper to taste
Cut the Heirloom Tomatoes into 1 inch Cubes and throw away the Stem/core on top. In a mixing bowl, season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
(Always season Tomatoes separately for salads otherwise the salad will be bland)
Add the Basil, Onions, and Balsamic Vinegar to start the Marinade of the Vegetables.
Slice the Ciabatta Bread in ½ inch slices and season with Salt, Pepper, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil on both sides. In your oven at home on Broil or over a grill on High, toast the bread until you begin to get a light Char of the bread and flip for the same on both sides.
While the bread is still hot, rub the raw garlic on both sides of the bread, grating the garlic into the toast. When cool Dice the Grilled Bread into 1 inch pieces and Reserve to the side.
By now the Tomatoes will have released some of the Tomato Water and created a Mild Vinaigrette with the onions and Basil. Toss the Diced Bread, Sliced Cucumber, and Tomatoes together in Large Mixing Bowl and Transfer to Platter or desired Plate.
Garnish the Salad with pulled pieces of the Burrata Cheese and the remaining Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This Salad is a Great Accompaniement with Roasted or Grilled Meats such as Chicken or Flat Iron Steak

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