Berlin Lunchbox Panzanella

We have just recently seeded some tomato plants for our community gardenStadtGarten. We put together this colorful salad to remind us what is to come once the fresh vegetables finally arrive. Can’t wait to make it again with our own produce.

A Panzanella is a classic Florentine Italian dish, which consists of chopped veggies especially tomatoes and soaked pieces of day-old bread. We have made a slight variation on this, since the soaked bread doesn’t really do it for us. We prefer to have the crunch of toasted croutons instead. This may be against convention, which is why we have deemed this the “Berlin Lunchbox Panzanella”.

Recipe

Berlin Lunchbox Panzanella

Baguette, ciabatta or some other hearty white bread.

4 green spring onions, chopped

4 medium tomatoes, or 350 g cherry tomatoes, roughly cubed

1 small head of lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 cucumber, roughly cubed

A handfull of fresh basil

High quality olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Garlic (optional)

Parmesan crisp

Preparation

Heat the oven to 180°Celcius, and prepare a baking tray. Rip or cut the bread into bite-sized croutons. In a large bowl, toss them with olive oil and a little bit of salt. You may also what to add a bit of finely chopped garlic (optional). Place them evenly on the tray and put them in the oven. Flip the croutons at least once. Bake until they are rich brown and crunchy, around 10 minutes.

Take these out of the oven. Let them cool

Make the dressing, add equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper and a little bit of maple syrup to taste. Roughly chop most of the basil (leaving some for garnish) and mix in.

Add all the chopped veggies together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Before serving, add the croutons and toss. You want the croutons to be covered by dressing, but not soggy.

Serve with a parmesan crisp.

Note: If you want to add more protein to the salad, you can add tuna or hard boiled eggs to this salad!

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