Puttanesca Panzanella

May 4, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This is another excuse to eat good bread in the guise of a "salad," one of my favorite ploys. I pan-fry the croutons so they're crispy, yet soft, and flavored with olive oil, which pairs well with tangy olives, capers, and tomatoes (aka puttanesca sauce). A salty girl's dream lunch. Laurie

Food52 Review: The croutons were oh-so-crispy! The mix of ingredients was good. Next time, I might include even more vegetables in the salad, like peppers or cucumbers. (This time I added arugula.) feastathome

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

Croutons

  • 1 medium loaf high-quality crusty bread, preferably white
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch kosher salt

Salad

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons red onion, sliced thinly
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Cut most of the crust off of the bread and discard or save for another use. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups.
  2. Heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. You want the croutons to fit in one layer with room in between to flip. You may have to fry the bread in two batches. When the pan is hot, add olive oil (just 3 tablespoons if you're only doing half), and when the oil is hot, add the cubes of bread in one layer (they should sizzle—but make sure they don't burn). After 2 minutes or so, when the undersides of the croutons are nicely brown, flip each crouton. Cook for another few minutes until brown and flip onto a plate.
  3. Combine all the salad ingredients, toss, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the croutons. You could serve on a bed of arugula or basil, but it really doesn't need it.

More Great Recipes:
Salad|Italian|Vegetable|Fry

Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Reviews

Babette's S. July 29, 2016
Puttanesca with no anchovy element!? Where are the anchovies, not even in a dressing? I'm sure the salad is awesome good as is, but I would most definitely add anchovy paste mixed with the vinegar & oil, or minced anchovies in the salad. Another way to get them into this is use a can of anchovy stuffed olives. Goya is one brand that markets both anchovy and tuna stuffed large green olives. Also, a mix of kalamata & green (not generic jarred Spanish green pimento stuffed olives) would be terrific. Yeah, if this is supposed to be a riff on Puttanesca, it's like a Caesar Salad without anchovies, which (for me) is not a real Caesar Salad.
 
Author Comment
Laurie July 29, 2016
Good point—I love anchovies and really am not sure why I didn't put them in the original recipe as I do with Puttanesca sauce for pasta. I'm sure they would improve this salad for those of us who enjoy the stinky, pungent little guys.
 
krikri July 23, 2016
I *LOVE* this salad. <br /><br />That is all.
 
Author Comment
Laurie July 29, 2016
Thanks Krikri!