Summer Tomato Panzanella

Prep: 20 minutes Rest: 15 minutes

Serves:4

My daughter, Heather, returned home from a trip with a craving for the bread salad she'd enjoyed while away. She created this one, which is best when it's made with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes from the garden or your local farmers' market.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf fat-free French or Italian-style bread, crusts on, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup Fat-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Spread out the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes to dry. Let cool on the sheet.

Put the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, basil, and olives into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the Fat-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette, garlic, water, vegetable broth, and vinegar.

About 15 minutes before serving, add the toasted bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the dressing and toss again. Let the salad stand for 15 minutes before serving to allow the bread cubes to soak up some of the dressing. Serve.

Note: A recipe for Fat-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette can be found in Dressings , or you can use a bottled one.