Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese

By Genius Recipes
July 20, 2018
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Author Notes: This recipe manages to combine three of our favorite summery Italian staples—tomato caprese + grilled bruschetta + panzanella—in an utterly simple and harmonious, if not entirely traditional, way. Adapted slightly from Marcy Ragan, private chef and caterer at Relish Your Chef.Genius Recipes

Serves: 8 to 12
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min

  • 1 sourdough boule (14-16 ounces), sliced about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed into approximately 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cubed into approximately 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 large cloves fresh garlic, papery skin off and left whole
  • 1 cup good olive oil or extra virgin olive oil (you can use 1/2 cup regular olive oil for grilling and 1/2 cup good extra virgin for the salad if you prefer)
  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  1. Fire up your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. (If you have neither, fire up your broiler.)
  2. In a large bowl that you think can fit all of the ingredients, place the tomatoes and about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Gently stir salt through tomatoes.
  3. With a pastry brush/kitchen brush, brush oil onto both sides of each slice of bread and place on a baking sheet or platter large enough to accommodate all of the slices and cloves of garlic. You will probably use about 1/2 cup oil here. The remaining oil is for the salad.
  4. When the bread is grilled on both sides, remove from the heat of the grill.
  5. When the bread is cool enough to touch or holding it with tongs, hold garlic clove in hand and rub over bread gently, both sides. Continue until all bread has garlic on it. With a serrated knife, cut the bread into approximately 3/4-inch cubes.
  6. Taste the tomatoes to see if you want to use more salt, if tomatoes have released a lot of liquid, pour the liquid from the bowl and set aside in a measuring cup. You’ll add it back in later. Add more salt if necessary, to taste.
  7. Add mozzarella to tomatoes. Add basil. Toss together. Add grilled bread cubes to the same bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt. Gently mix together.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour some (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup) of tomato water into salad if you would like it a little more moist. Enjoy!

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