Panzanella - The Perfect Salad to Make Ahead

Panzanella is a casual salad.

It tastes better when it is made ahead and all the flavors have an opportunity to marinate. It is a good choice if you are planning a trip to the beach or the park and you want something that travels well. If you have bread, preferably stale, tomatoes, and good olive oil, you are on your way. This version happened because I had some very ripe tomatoes and a few other odds and ends from the Farmer's Market. Best of all, I had McEvoy Ranch Basil Olive Oil and that truly was my inspiration. This oil radiates fragrance and aroma and I knew that, even though I didn't have any fresh basil on hand, the oil would carry the day.

Panzanella with Grilled Vegetables and Basil Olive Oil Vinaigrette

Serves four

Basil Olive Oil Vinaigrette Ingredients 1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp. McEvoy Ranch Champagne Vinegar 1/2 cup McEvoy Ranch Basil Olive Oil Directions
  • Stir together garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar.
  • Whisk in olive oil until vinaigrette emulsifies.
Panzanella Ingredients 2 thick slices of artisan bread 6 Tbsp. McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp. Kosher salt 2 - 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes 1 small red onion 1 medium zucchini or summer squash 1 ear corn, shucked Directions
  • Make the vinaigrette and set aside.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Brush bread slices with olive oil and grill until firm.
  • Tear bread into pieces and place in the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes in chunks and add to the bread.
  • Slice zucchini or summer squash in half lengthwise, salt lightly, brush with olive oil and grill until tender.
  • Slice onion into wedges, salt lightly, brush with olive oil and grill until tender.
  • Brush corn with olive oil, salt lightly and grill until the kernels are browned.
  • Cut zucchini into chunks.
  • Cut corn off the cob.
  • Toss zucchini, corn, and onions with the bread and tomatoes.
  • Add the vinaigrette and toss again.
You can enjoy this salad right away but it really does get better after hanging out for a bit. Mix things up with other additions. Grilled peppers would be delicious. Fresh mozzarella or feta would round out the salad and bump up the protein. Toasted seeds and nuts could do the same. It's a casual, summer salad - make it your own!