Happy first day of October friends!
Fall is officially here🍂🍁and I’m loving it! September was a little cray-cray, we travelled quite a bit + running around for the new house and trying to squeeze in time to work on the blog, it’s been hectic to say the least! Things are starting to calm down a little, construction is almost done🙏🏻 another 3-4 weeks and it should be DONE! Then my new kitchen will be ready and I’m not leaving that place for a solid month, cooking up all things fall (and prepping for the Holidays🎅🏻🎄) are you as excited as I am?
For now, let’s focus on important things: Tomatoes, Bread and Cheese! Yup, those are things I need to survive (and wine)!! This tomato season has been Beautiful😍, Seriously some of the prettiest and tastiest tomatoes I’ve had. I made a big batch of canning salsa (if you want that recipe shoot me an email or dm it’s from one of my canning books and it’s my fave), canned some whole tomatoes and made this salad on repeat!
Panzanella, my favourite salad! How surprising that my favourite salad is mostly made out of bread 🤭#Typical. As if it’s not perfect on its own… I’m adding Burrata sooo 🙏🏻
Let me break down this salad for you:
- Bread: A nice ciabatta baguette is perfect for this. Day old is fine, no need for freshly baked. It’s actually better to use bread that’s a little dry since we will be toasting it! This will make it even crispier. All about that crunch😍
- Tomatoes: Farmers Market still has SO many beautiful tomatoes!!! I used 3 big Heirloom tomatoes!! Try to get a few different colours, so pretty! I didn’t really measure them (sorry) but I’m thinking it’s probably around 4 cups. You can always add another tomato at the end, but let’s be real… even if you would just serve a bowl of toasted bread drizzled with oil, balsamic and slathered in Burrata, you are #winning!!!!
- Fresh Basil: About a handful, simply torn into to piece or chiffonade if you want to get fancy (I go for the torn since this salad is so rustic)
- EVOO: A nice light & fruity olive oil is great for this.
- Aged Balsamic: I like to have a good aged balsamic on hand, especially for drizzling on Caprese Salad or simply on sliced tomatoes with a little EVOO and Salt & Pepper. Aged balsamic is slightly thicker and a little sweeter than regular balsamic vinegar. If you only have regular balsamic on hand, you could add a little maple syrup to the dressing if you find it to acidic.
- Garlic: I add one clove grated garlic to the dressing but if you’re not into garlic, skip it!
- Salt & Pepper: Always, because seasoning is life!
- Last but certainly not least. BURRATA: Now, if you don’t know what Burrata is, prepare for a life changing experience (I’m not being dramatic it’s true). Well it was for me anyways🤷🏻♀️. I first had Burrata last year when we traveled to Italy. They served a huge platter of it, with some fresh tomatoes, basil, drizzled with EVOO and Salt & Pepper. So simple, so perfect! Definitely one of my favourite food memories from Italy. The bowl behind the Caprese was a Panzanella, how fitting🤭! So what is it though? Well, it’s basically fresh mozzarella 2.0. It’s fresh mozz on the exterior and the inside is stuffed with stracciatella which is shredded fresh mozzarella and cream which makes the most amazing creamy mixture. Unfortunately, Burrata is not as accessible here (I’m talking about NB, Canada… everywhere else seems to have it🤷🏻♀️). Check with the cheese counter at your local grocery store, sometimes they don’t have it on hand but they can order it! If you really can’t find it, you can totally substitute with fresh mozzarella di bufala, also delicious.
K, so let’s make Panzanella! Start off by heating up the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. I used a Ciabatta baguette this time but I often use Sourdough, both are delicious. Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes, you’ll need about 6 cups. In a large bowl, drizzle the bread with EVOO, 3 TBSP or so. Give everything a mix, you want all the bread to be evenly coated with the oil. Season with salt and pepper, spread on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes (it might take a little longer depending on the oven), or until lightly browned a crispy. Once the bread is done, set aside to cool until ready to use!For the tomatoes, like I said, I used 3 of these 4 large heirloom tomatoes! Didn’t really measure them but here’s what they looked like. I’m thinking 4 cups ish, you can add more if you’d like!! Remember back in my Roasted Tomato Salsa recipe that each tomato has it’s purpose? Well in this case, you want a nice sweet juicy tomato! The juices from the tomatoes mixed with the olive oil & balsamic makes the most amazing dressing, so so good!!
Add the chopped tomatoes along with the chopped basil (1/2 cup roughly chopped). The tomatoes should be chopped the same size as the bread, about 1 inch. Add the cooled bread to the tomato/basil mixture and give everything a mix.
In a mason jar, add 1/4 cup EVOO, 2-3 TBSP good quality balsamic, 1 grated garlic clove and salt & pepper. Give everything a shake and pour over the salad. Mix everything together so the bread starts soaking up that dressing, let it sit a few a minutes. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.
Now, for the piece de resistance aka Burrata🤤. Can I say something first, it’s very important. Don’t serve ice cold Burrata, ever. You want/need that creamy dreamy center to ooze when you cut into it. To achieve that you MUST let your Burrata sit at room temperature for a good 20-30 minutes before you serve!! Awwwe it’s so perfect! In my opinion you can never have to much Burrata so go wild! I suggest having a few balls of it, you’re not gonna want to share your Burrata, trust me! Did I say Burrata enough times😂?? Tear it up, spread it over the salad and serve!
Pretty sure you guys will love this one!
Tomatoes, Bread, Cheese, does one need more than that in life? This salad is so simple to make but so packed with flavour!! I merged my two favourite salads, Panzanella + Caprese and it’s wonderful.
- 6 cups 1 inch cubes of Ciabatta or Sourdough bread*
- 3 Large or 4 Medium Heirloom tomatoes
- Fresh basil, a large handful or about 1/2 cup roughly chopped (extra for serving)
- 1 Garlic clove, grated
- Aged balsamic or any good quality balsamic vinegar**
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Balls fresh Burrata or Mozzarella di Bufala
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Remove the Burrata or Mozzarella from the fridge, remove from liquid and let sit at room temperature until ready to use (a good 2o minutes).
- Chop the bread into 1 inch peices. Measure 6 cups and add to a large bowl. Drizzle the bread cubes with EVOO, about 3-4 TBSP so all the bread gets coated in the oil. Season with Salt & Pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the bread is golden and crispy. Time may vary with every oven. Set aside to cool.
- Remove core from the tomatoes, chop into 1 inch peices similar to the bread. Add to a large bowl.
- Roughly chop the basil, about 1/2 cup and add to the tomatoes. You can add more or less basil to your liking.
- In a mason jar, add 1/4 cup EVOO, 2-3 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar*, 1 grated garlic clove and salt + pepper. Give it a shake and set aside.
- Add the bread to the tomato/basil mixture and mix everything together. Drizzle the dressing and mix again. You want everything to be evenly coated so the juices of the tomatoes and the dressing start soaking into the bread. Let sit for a few minutes then give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Tear up the Burrata or Mozzarella and spread over the salad. Drizzle with more EVOO and season with salt and pepper. If you are using a nice aged balsamic, you can also drizzle some over before serving.
*If you don’t have a good aged balsamic and you find the dressing too acidic, you can add a little maple syrup to the dressing to sweeten it up.
**Using day old bread is best for this recipe, the dryer the bread the crispier it will toast up.
***If you can’t find Burrata, Fresh Mozzarella is fine or you can also totally omit the cheese.
Keywords: Tomatoes, Basil, Bread, Panzanella, Burrata