Panzanella

This delicious recipe for panzanella calls for biscotti, which are crispy oven-baked savory biscuits. They’re often found in the bread section at the supermarket. I’m so lucky that a local bakery, Apicella’s, makes them right here in New Haven.

Ingredients

  • 1 7-ounce pack biscotti
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red, green, or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 12 small leaves arugula
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, from about 2 sprigs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Using your hands, break up the biscotti, one at a time, into a big bowl, breaking each biscuit into about 6 pieces. Sprinkle the hot water evenly over the biscotti. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, then scatter evenly over the biscotti, including all the juices, too. Peel the onion, cut it in half, then cut each half into thin slices. Scatter the slices evenly over the tomatoes. Seed and chop the bell pepper and scatter the pieces over the salad. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and soft pulp, and cut each half into slices. Scatter the slices over the salad. Tear the basil and arugula leaves into pieces; scatter these and the fresh oregano leaves evenly over the salad.
  2. Using two spoons or your clean hands, toss the salad to combine the ingredients. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the salad, then drizzle the vinegar. Sprinkle the dried oregano, sea salt, and pepper evenly over the top. Toss well to combine. Taste for seasonings.

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