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Panzanella

As posted on Boston.com

The traditional Italian salad panzanella was born from the need to use up stale bread. Some versions call for soaking the loaf in water. It’s more luxurious to rub a crusty baguette with olive oil and garlic and grill the pieces for a few minutes, lending smoky notes to the finished bowl of arugula, tomatoes, and red onion. For a pretty presentation, choose multicolored cherry tomatoes.

  • 1 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes in mixed colors, quartered
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh arugula, stems trimmed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
    1. Light a charcoal grill and wait for the coals to turn gray or set a gas grill to medium.
    2. Brush the baguette with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    3. Grill the baguette for 2 minutes on a side or until crisp and slightly charred. Remove bread from grill and rub with garlic cloves. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
    4. In a large bowl, combine grilled bread, cherry and regular tomatoes, onion, arugula, basil, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently.
    5. Divide the salad among 6 plates and sprinkle with goat cheese.

-Karoline Boehm Goodnick

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