1990 something was a great time to be alive. Good music (and I’m talking about *NSYNC of coarse), fun toys like a Tamagotchi, TGIF on ABC watching Boy Meets World. No cell phones, very basic video games like Duck Hunt or Super Mario Brothers 3 (until PlayStation 1 came out and then it was bomber man all day), Harry Potter was becoming a thing with the releases of the books, and days spent rollerblading down the street to your friends house or to the corner market to get some “Cookies and Cream” flavored Hershey bars and a can of Surge. Another thing that in that was awesome in the ’90s and really needs a comeback is Panzanella salad.
If you really can even call Panzanella a salad. When this 90’s girl (who has always loved extra croutons on her salad) found out that there is a salad made basically of croutons blew my damn mind. I think we need to start the Panzanella salad comeback. At Glorious Artisan Bakery (outside of Browne’s addition) is where my friend Leo makes his amazing sourdough bread’s. It’s a nice hearty bread that could stand up to the juicy heirloom tomatoes and the tang of his sourdough perfectly balances with the sweet acidity of the vinaigrette. Toasted bread soaks up the tomato juice vinaigrette perfectly, then finish it off with some of his amazing olive oil, basil, crisp pancetta top it all with some Barata, I think that this Panzanella salad has a standing chance for a comeback.
- 1 loaf Glorious rustic sourdough, cubed into 1-inch cubes
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes
- ½ Walla Walla onion (or sweet onion), sliced thin
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 bunch basil, chiffonade
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pancetta, fried to a crisp
- Diced tomatoes into large dice place in a colander and salt the point are to draw out a lot of the moisture in the juices of the tomatoes to make a vinaigrette with
- Step two while the tomatoes are draining dice up the loaf of bread and placing an oven at 425° until mostly dry and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- Take the cubed pancetta and brown it until crisp and the fat has rendered can put aside and keep the fat.
- Soak the onions in water for at least five minutes to get some of the snap out of the onion but still leaving the sweetness from them.
- Take the tomato juices in a bowl taste to see how tart it is if it is too tart add a little bit of sugar and if it is not hard enough you may need to add a little bit more vinegar, add vinegar, salt and pepper then emulsify the dressing slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisking vigorously, you can use a blender or a hand mixer if you want.
- In a large bowl (larger than you think) place the drained onions, tomato, bread, and the basil and toss together well while mixing in the dressing a little bit at a time until the bread is evenly coated and starting to soak let sit for 10 minutes to fully get saturated. To finish please in a large serving bowl top with ripped burrata to expose the Creamy center drizzle the whole thing with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with the pancetta and some more fresh basil.