Panzanella with Grilled Sausages
- Active Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 pound Heirloom Tomato (about 3-4 good sized and color variety)
- 1 pound Crusty Bread (rustic loaf, sourdough, Italian loaf, ciabatta all work out. Cut in 1” cubes, about 6-7 cups of bread)
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 10 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 Yellow Summer Squash (1 small)
- 2 ears Corn
- 1⁄2 Red Onion (divided)
- 1 pound Sausage
- 1 English Cucumber (or fun farmer's market variety)
- 3 Tablespoons Basil (torn or chopped)
- 2 ounces Fresh Mozzarella (optional)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly cracked, to taste)
- pinch White Sugar (or honey. Optional and to taste)
- 4 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
GLUTEN FREE:a high quality GF bread would actually be ok here. Otherwise, omit the bread and cook 2 cups of quinoa, lentils or rice to toss with the other ingredients instead
DAIRY FREE:don’t use the mozzarella
PALEO:double the amount of squash and consider adding other raw and cooked vegetables to make a beautiful summer vegetable bowl. Cauliflower florets, green beans, yams. Consider serving with half an avocado per bowl
VEGETARIAN :use vegetarian sausages, we love Field Crest or similar
PESCATARIAN:serve salad with grilled shrimp or seared salmon
BREAD:something crusty and rustic is best. The crust should be crispy and deep brown but if it’s too tough, the insides will disintegrate and the crusts will stand out. If you have something softer, toast it a little longer and serve more quickly after adding the dressing. We love bread with olives, nuts, or herbs in it here too
TOMATOES:very ripe, even slightly soft tomatoes are wonderful here, it’s a great way to use them up. Any variety or combination is ok to use
NO ONION:omit the raw and/or cooked onion if preferred. Consider a shallot in the dressing at least, or simply omit it
SAUSAGES:use whatever you enjoy or have on hand. Certainly, this can be a meal without meat, or as a side dish to grilled fish, chicken, steak or pork
KIDS CORNER:Kids may prefer most of the ingredients separated out rather than tossed together. If they have a favorite dressing use that, or serve with hummus for dipping.
1PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
If you have an outdoor BBQ, this is a great use of it. Use it for the vegetables and sausages. To cook the corn, grill it first, then slice off the kernels. To cook squash, slice them into long planks then BBQ, dicing them smaller after cooking. You could even grill the bread in ½” slices, then dice into smaller pieces after it’s toasted and has picked up some grill marks.
Halve the cherry tomatoes. Dice the heirloom tomatoes into wedges or 1” pieces.
Place all of the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and toss gently with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Set aside at room temperature to drain into the bowl while you toast the bread. Drain for at least 6-10 minutes.
Slice or tear the bread into 1” cubes, including through the crust. Spread on a baking sheet and toss them with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are lightly toasted. Set the cubes aside to cool.
Dice the squash into ½” cubes and place on another baking sheet.
Shuck the corn and slice off the kernels. Place them on the baking sheet.
Cut the onion in half and reserve for another dish (the stuffed peppers this week). Halve the half so you have quarters. Thinly slice one quarter and place that on the baking sheet too.
Finely mince the other quarter and place it in a small bowl and set aside for the dressing.
Toss the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Place them into the oven and roast for about 10 minutes.
Heat a large sauté pan or grill pan over high heat. Sear the sausages, rotating every few minutes to evenly brown, and cook them until they are crispy on the outside and cooked through. Set aside when done.
Dice the cucumber. Stack up about 10 basil leaves and chop or tear them. If using some mozzarella, dice it into ¼-½” cubes.
Finely mince the garlic cloves and set aside for the dressing.
After the tomatoes have rested a bit, you’ll have some tomato juices in the bowl below. To this juice, add the vinegar, minced garlic, finely diced red onion, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, the black pepper, and the pinch of sugar or honey if using. Whisk to combine.
Drizzle in the remaining olive oil while whisking to emulsify the dressing.
In a large bowl, place the toasted and mostly cooled bread cubes. Toss with about ⅓ of the dressing. Add the cooked vegetables, the cucumber, mozzarella (if using), most of the basil, and toss to combine. Add up to another ⅓ of the dressing. Add the tomatoes and gently toss to coat.
The salad should be well soaked with dressing. Ideally, let it sit at least 5 minutes (and up to 30), tossing a few times to really help the bread soak up the dressing.
Garnish with any remaining basil leaves.
Serve giant heaps of salad with sausages on the side.
*Leftover salad is best for up to a few hours. There’s a point where the bread is absorbed, perfectly soft and amazing, then it gets soggy. If you don’t think you’ll eat it all, reserve some bread cubes, dressing and veggies to toss and eat later.