Panzanella

Panzanella

¼ cup drained capers

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup red wine vinegar

12 ounces ciabatta or other country white bread

2 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes

1 cucumber

2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Soak the capers in 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain.

To peel tomatoes:  Core the tomatoes and cut a small X in the skin at the bottom of the tomato. Place in pot of rapidly boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove and immediately submerge the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water.  Once cool, remove the tomatoes from the ice water and peel. The skin will easily slip off.

Cut cucumber in half lengthwise.  Scoop seeds from center and cut cucumber into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.

Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds.  Cut tomatoes into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.

Cut the crust off the bread. Slice the bread into 2 inch slices.  Brush each side of the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Grill or toast in the oven until crisp on the outside.  Cut or tear bread into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, and minced garlic.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, capers and basil and toss to combine.

Allow to sit covered at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.