You may have noticed that I like salads, especially those you can take to a pot-luck or a picnic. Panzanella is great because you can use leftover bread and extra veggies from your garden to stretch your budget or you could go out and buy the ingredients because it's a very refreshing lunch on a hot day. I have used leftover sourdough or rosemary bread; I don't usually have a lot of bread around the house so sometimes I buy something good just to make the salad. When I'm sharing with others, I like to buy a bag of garlic croutons and let the salad sit overnight to soak up all the juices from the veggies.
You can add anything you think will work together. I've used sweet peppers, tomatoes, vegan cheese cubes, basil, or whatever is lying around in the fridge. My usual recipe includes tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, salt and pepper, vinegar and white wine. For a party sized bowl of panzanella, peel and cube 4 large cucumbers. Cube 4 roma tomatoes. Dress the chopped veggies, then add a cup of hand shredded or cubed bread that has dried out and mix with the vegetables. Using the bread dry allows the vegetables to release some of their water and soften the bread overnight. If you are serving the salad right away, soak and squeeze the bread so that it's soft as you serve it.
If you haven't seen the rest of my blog, I have recipes for garbanzo bean salad and tofu salad here too. Sometime this summer I will make potato salad and post with pictures.
**Note: To make this IC Friendly, omit tomatoes, wine, and vinegar.