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Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

August 21, 2008

This is the perfect summer dish, especially for potlucks because it’s served at room temp and makes a lot. You could cut this in half easily. It is surprisingly great the next day and the bread is still chewy, but not soggy. I adapted this from Gourmet. It’s a good dish for vegetarians, and is great with just grilled fish on the side.

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I usually cut down the oil by half)
3 (12-inch) lengths of crusty baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (12 cups)
3/4 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb asparagus, snapped and cut into bit-sized pieces
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (preferably white)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lb lightly salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/3-inch dice
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife or mortar and pestle, then transfer to a small bowl and add 1/2 cup olive oil slowly, whisking until combined well. Put bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons garlic oil, toss to combine, then divide bread between 2 cookie sheets and scatter to make 1 layer. Toast in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave oven on.

Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil (not garlic oil), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then arrange in 1 layer on a cookie sheet or pan with low sides. Toss asparagus in same bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, then arrange in 1 layer in another large shallow baking pan. Roast vegetables, switching position of pans halfway through roasting and shaking pans once or twice, until tomatoes are very tender but not falling apart and asparagus is just tender and browned in spots, 12 to 16 minutes. Cool vegetables in pans until ready to assemble salad.

While vegetables roast, add vinegar to remaining garlic oil along with sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and whisk to combine well.

Put asparagus, tomatoes (along with any pan juices), toasted bread, beans, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl, then drizzle with dressing and stir to combine well. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to develop, then stir just before serving.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. greg permalink
    August 21, 2008 5:06 pm

    mmm…..that was good.

  2. Amanda permalink
    September 22, 2008 7:40 pm

    I finally had the perfect chance to make this – a potluck picnic while Laurel was up visiting. Everyone who tried it really liked it and I was quite pleased. It was also good, as promised, as leftovers the next day. Next time I might try cutting the bread a little smaller, though Dan pointed out that if I cut it too small it would be in danger of getting soggy, which in its current incarnation it avoided. I might also try adding roasted red peppers, just because I like them.

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