Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
This rustic Tuscan salad, called panzanella, is best when made with a chewy, coarsely textured white bread. The bread must be at least 3 to 4 days old to provide the correct texture when mixed with tomatoes and vinaigrette. Round, yellow lemon cucumbers deliver a sweet, mild flavor to the salad.
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- 3 lemon cucumbers or 1 English (hothouse)
cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and
- Coarse salt, to taste
- 1/2 lb. stale coarse-textured white bread
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 ripe tomatoes, 1 1/2 to 2 lb. total, seeded
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 to 5 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
into small pieces
Wine PairingThis pairs well with crisp, light-bodied rosé wines from our Wine Club.
Directions:Spread the diced cucumbers on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let stand for 15 minutes. Place the cucumbers in a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Meanwhile, cut the bread into slices 1 inch thick and place in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the bread with the water and let stand for 2 minutes. Then carefully squeeze the bread until it is dry. Tear into rough 1-inch pieces and place on paper towels. Let stand for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and bread and toss gently.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bread mixture and the basil, mix gently and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
Transfer the salad to a platter and serve chilled.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Summer, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).