This salad is inspired by multiple delicious panzanella salads I’ve had over the years. It’s not actually a panzanella salad because it deviates from the traditional ingredients and process, so I’m going with “Chunky Bread Salad.” I love how easy this salad is to throw together, especially if you make the Spicy Sourdough Croutons ahead of time.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice + zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, pasted or minced (use 4 cloves if you don’t use the Spicy Sourdough Croutons)
1.5 tsp Italian seasoning (use only if you don’t use the Spicy Sourdough Croutons)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups cucumbers, cut into 1 inch cubes (remove the seeds if there are too many of them)
2 cups different colored bell peppers, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp capers, drained
4 cups of Spicy Sourdough Croutons
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 inch cubes (sometimes I use the mini mozzarella balls that come in water)
1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced thinly
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Once well mixed, slowly add the olive oil while whisking vigorously to create the dressing.
2. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, and capers to the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add the croutons and mozzarella and toss well to combine.
3. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least half an hour to let the bread soak up the liquid. Right before serving, top with the basil.