Panzanella Salad

This is a salad that even the pickiest eaters love! Chucks of crusty bread marinaded with summer veggies- delicious & super easy! It makes the perfect side for back yard barbecues or picnics since it doesn't require any refrigeration! Ingredients:
(For the Salad)
1 Italian or French loaf of Crusty Bread
1/2-3/4 lb Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium/ large Cucumber, cut in 1/2" cubes
1/4 medium Red Onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup Black Olives
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, cut into pieces
1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
(for the Vinaigrette)
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I used a mini french baguette, but I've also used Italian boules or Sourdough loaves in the past. Use any crusty bread that you like. Cut the bread into 1/2" cubes. Place on a sheet pan, drizzle lightly with olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove from oven & set aside to cool.
Chop your veggies. I used grape tomatoes because they looked the best to me at the grocery store. But you really can use any tomato that you want. I used regular hot house cucumbers but you can use English. I peeled it, in strips so you still got some of the peel & I left the seeds in. Switch up the veggies & add what your family likes. Colorful bell peppers would be great in this!
Mince the garlic cloves, add the garlic, vinegar & olive oil in a bowl & whisk to emulsify. Season with salt & pepper.
With the tip of your knife, 'chip' off chucks of parmesan cheese. You could use different cheese too; mozzarella or feta would be good!
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving the Parmesan for serving. Stir to incorporate the dressing. Cover & let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan chucks & serve.

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