If you’ve started following me on Instagram or Facebook, you will know that I love to bake with a sourdough starter. I’ve been baking with a starter on and off for about eight years and can’t get enough of the bread that results from it. The crispy crust, beautiful score, soft interior and beautiful air holes not only taste delicious but are just fun for me to work with. The only issue I’ve run into is the abundance of bread in my house. While I’ve started dabbling in selling some of my loaves and I’ve frozen many of them, I am constantly searching for new recipes that include artisan-style bread. Not a recipe for making the bread, rather how I can use the bread I already have in a recipe.
One of my favorite ways to use up some leftover bread is in this panzanella salad. The star of the salad is the delicious toasted bread chunks, and the bright spot of cherry tomato with the creamy mozzarella makes for the perfect combination. One highlight of this recipe is that you can add any ingredients you want or need to use up in your fridge. It is very versatile. I also love balsamic vinegar, so I opted for a balsamic dressing instead of a traditional red wine vinaigrette. You choose what suits you best and you can’t go wrong.
This weekend I made some delicious demi-baguettes (about half the size of a traditional baguette). We’ve enjoyed eating them with butter, adding some lunch meat, dipping them in olive oil and vinegar and eating them plain. When we grow tired of that (seriously, how do you grow tired of good bread and butter?!), I have the ingredients for this amazing panzanella salad on hand and will whip it up in no time for another delicious way to eat a baguette.
Yield: 6 servings
Time: 15 minutes prep, 10 minutes bake
- 1 demi-baguette cut into 1 inch cubes (about 3-4 cups)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into bite-size pieces
- A bunch of fresh basil, torn or chiffonade
- 3 Tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut demi-baguette (or half of a traditional baguette) into 1 inch cubes and spread on the baking sheet. Mince the garlic. Toss bread cubes and garlic with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and bake for about 8-10 minutes until crunchy.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and cube the mozzarella cheese. Chiffonade the basil and mix the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil together in a separate bowl.
- Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil and dijon mustard together in a small bowl until emulsified.
- In a serving bowl, mix together the toasted baguette and tomato mixture. Top with dressing and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
This is one of those recipes that I crave, especially in the summertime with fresh tomatoes. It is worth growing your own tomatoes this summer just for this recipe! If you have any favorite recipes that include artisan bread, please send them my way! I’d love to try them…and my freezer and family will thank you 🙂
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