Mariel here. During the colder months, I eat the same salad every single day without fail: spinach, blue cheese, spicy olives, dried cherries, pear and grape tomatoes. It’s a salad my mom knows by heart and makes for me any time she’s helping out with dinner, which is usually twice a week. We’re pretty lucky in these parts.
But as the rainy spring gave way to sunnier days, I decided to mix up my routine, and in another twist, I dished up this rooty-tooty salad to my mom. This warm-weather medley stars the best of summer produce and it’s now my go-to dinner companion. And on the odd day the temperature has risen above 85, I’ve eaten a double portion as dinner. I simply cannot tell you how delicious this and since it’s ready in under 15 minutes, you won’t have to waste a summer afternoon slaving over a hot stove.
Summer Panzanella Salad
Note: Unlike many of our recipes that get better with time, this one is best served and eaten immediately after preparing.
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes – $2.39
3 cups cubed French bread or boule (1-inch cubes) – $2.49
Pinch of salt – stock
2 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
1 large ripe peach (or nectarine), roughly chopped – $1.16
1 Champagne or Ataulfo mango, chopped (these are slightly more tart than a regular mango, tho that will also work) – $1.50
1½ cups cubed watermelon – $3.49
1½ cups fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped – $5.99
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped finely – $1.29
For the vinaigrette:
¼-cup extra virgin olive oil – stock
¼-cup balsamic vinegar – stock
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard – stock
2 tablespoons honey – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $18.31
Cost per serving: $4.57
1. Cube the tomato; place in a colander to drain until ready to assemble the salad.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over med-low heat. Add the bread and salt; cook for 10 minutes, flipping frequently, until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
3. In a lidded glass container, combine vinaigrette ingredients and shake vigorously.
4. Combine peaches, watermelon, mango, basil, mozzarella in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and toasted bread. Toss with a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette and serve immediately (err on the side of under-dressing the salad).