Necessity is the mother of invention, and this classic Italian dish comes out of the need to use up stale bread. Originating in Tuscany, panzanella traditionally combines cubed stale bread with juicy tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, and sometimes onions and basil. This summery version of the original celebrates the flavors of summer, and features sweet corn, caramelized red onions, and creamy mozzarella for a dish that’s sure to please. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which helps protect your eyes and skin from the sun- all the more reason to enjoy them in the summer months.

Serves 4-6

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 thick cut slices ciabatta, French, sourdough, or boule bread
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • ½ red onion, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
  • 3 cups halved or quartered tomatoes (depending on size)
  • 1 small ball fresh mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, to serve

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, toast the bread slices, drizzling them with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to get them golden brown on all sides. Remove to a cutting board to cool.
  2. With the skillet still over medium high heat, add the red onion, along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir often and cook until just beginning to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the corn kernels to the skillet along with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir often and cook until just beginning to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cut the bread slices into bite size cubes, and tear the mozzarella into bite size pieces.
  5. In a large bowl or platter, gently toss together the cubed bread, red onion, corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, a drizzle of sherry vinegar and olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over some torn fresh basil, and enjoy!
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About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com

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