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Make panzanella salad to celebrate the end of peach and tomato season

Panzanella is a delicious way to celebrate the harvest.
Panzanella is a delicious way to celebrate the harvest.

Harvest is in full swing now which means last chance for romance with some of your favourite fall ingredients. Peaches are rounding up for the year and so are heirloom tomatoes, so please make this salad as a finale to another wonderful season.

Panzanella salad is essentially a Tuscan born chopped salad featuring ripe tomatoes and day-old bread that is reborn after gloriously soaking up the tomato juices and olive oil. I use the vinaigrette recipe below from Ina Garten and find that you can vary the rest of the ingredients to your liking. Tomatoes and cucumbers are traditional, but the addition of sweet peaches really makes it an Okanagan celebration. To take this salad to the next level, fry the capers until crisp in some olive oil first. Enjoy!

Heirloom tomatoes are at the end of their season now so grab them if you see them at the farmers market!
Heirloom tomatoes are at the end of their season now so grab them if you see them at the farmers market!

Panzanella Salad

2 thickly sliced bread, large cubed, drizzle with olive oil and rub with a ½ garlic clove
2 -3 large heirloom tomatoes, cubed
1 large peach, cubed
1 medium cucumber, peeled & cubed
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
A handful of basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 Tbsp capers, drained
Maldon sea salt

Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

Toast bread cubes in a cast iron pan until golden brown.

Toss ingredients together on a serving platter (transfer to a bowl for presentation) and drizzle with vinaigrette, top with Maldon sea salt to taste. Let set for a few minutes to give the bread time to absorb the delicious juices.


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