I was watching “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” on the Food Network this afternoon and I just had to try the panzanella salad that he made. The recipe looked really simple but delicious. It turns out that it really was DELICIOUS. I served it with shrimp cooked in the same mixture that the bread is tossed in (I made a second batch of the butter/garlic/oil mix while the bread was toasting in the oven.) I used regular olives because that’s what I had in the house. I also used Apple Cider vinegar for the same reason.
* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into small cubes
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 pints red and yellow, grape and pear tomatoes, sliced in 1/2
* 1 cup halved, sliced kalamata olives
* 1/2 pound perlini mozzarella
* 8 basil leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to infuse the butter and oil with the garlic, about 4 minutes.
Add the cubed bread to a large bowl, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Transfer to a sheet tray and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar and set aside.
In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, croutons, basil, and the oil and vinegar mixture. Gently toss to coat all the tomatoes and croutons. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes before serving.
At first I thought the show was going to be lame but he is just so adorable! It is one of those shows that I will just HAVE to see on the weekends now. Incredible!