A spin on the classic Tuscan bread salad, this peach panzanella salad is a delicious bread salad featuring summer's finest produce: juicy peaches, velvety heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil. Just 7 ingredients and it's a foolproof side dish for picnics and potlucks, but the gourmet flavors are guaranteed to impress your guests.
8 to 10ounces(230-280g) of sourdough, ciabatta, French bread, or other rustic bread,cut into 1-inch cubes
2medium-large ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2large firm-but-ripe peaches, sliced
½small red onion, very thinly sliced
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
5tablespoonsgood-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
2tablespoonsgood-quality balsamic vinegar*
1/2cup(8g) basil leaves, slivered
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (add a bit more oil as needed to coat the bread). Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until toasted and crisp.
Meanwhile, transfer the chopped tomatoes and sliced peaches to a colander and fit the colander over a bowl. Sprinkle the fruit with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and gently toss to combine. Allow the fruit to rest while the bread is toasting, at least 15 minutes.
Remove the colander and transfer the peaches and tomatoes to a large serving bowl. Keep the peach and tomato juices that have accumulated in the bowl. To the juices, add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, whisking as you go to emulsify. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.Or, you can transfer the peach/tomato juices to a lidded jar and add the olive oil/vinegar, and shake vigorously until emulsified.
To the peaches and tomatoes in the serving bowl, add the sliced onions and basil, and gently toss to combine. Add the toasted bread cubes and vinaigrette, and gently toss again to coat.
Rest for 30 minutes (or up to 2-3 hours) before serving, tossing the salad occasionally. Taste, and season with a bit of salt and pepper, as needed.
See "Tips" section for recommended balsamic vinegar brands.