I love tomatoes, and they get sweeter when they're roasted. I add tomatoes to the bread cubes for the panzanella and roast them together with a garlic bulb. The bread soaks up lots of roasted tomato juice, but still stays a little chewy. I add the roasted garlic and whatever vegetables (raw tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, carrots, celery) I have on hand, some cheese (feta or queso blanco), fresh basil, and pistachios for crunch. I've added leftover chicken, tuna in oil, and roasted salmon to make a main dish. Make sure everything is cut to approximately the same size so this delicious salad is easier to eat! —Leith Devine
Garlic Bulb, cut in half
Loaf stale bread, cubed
Raw Tomatoes, Diced
Celery Stalk, Diced
Black Greek Olives, Sliced
container fresh mozzarella balls, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375. Dice the loaf of stale bread - I like ciabatta. Put on a baking sheet and add the garlic bulb and 3 tomatoes, chopped roughly. Drizzle olive oil on top and put pan in oven. Cover pan with foil, and stir bread mixture every 15 minutes until tomatoes have given up their juice and bread has soaked up tomato juice, about 45 minutes.
In the meantime, dice raw tomatoes, celery, olives, pistachios and cucumber. Add to a large bowl. Add mozzarella cheese balls.
Remove bread pan from oven and cool. Remove roasted garlic cloves and add to salad or dressing. Add bread and roasted tomatoes and toss with other vegetables and dressing.
Dressing: Slowly whisk olive oil into the balsamic vinegar to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lemon juice could be used instead of vinegar if desired.