Panzanella is a Italian type of salad based on bread and tomatoes, often with onions and basil, and dressed with oil and vinegar. It is very simple to put together and gave me an opportunity to make croutons for the first time.
4 slices of bread, crusts removed
Basil leaves, chopped
1/2 c. sliced red onion (I chopped mine)
One can small black olives, drained
One pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cans white beans, drained
1 T. water
1 T. olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. black pepper
Cut the crustless bread into one inch cubes and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Combine the basil, onion, olives, tomatoes, and beans in a bowl and mix gently. Mix the water, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and black pepper together and whisk until well blended. Pour over the vegetables and mix gently, but well.
Dish the salad into a bowl and top with some of the croutons.
I loved this salad, but might play around with the croutons. They were on the plain side. I think adding some herbs to the olive oil before brushing it on will liven things up a bit.