Panzanella is an Italian salad made of bread cubes and tomatoes. It is thought to have been invented to use slightly stale bread—kind of like what we’re looking to do here!
For the salad:
3 tablespoons good olive oil
6 cups challah, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
A small red onion, thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, checked and coarsely chopped
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.