While the end of summer is right around the corner (don't get us started on those less-than warm temps this past week), the season's bounty is still ripe and ready for the taking. So, instead of retreating to those take-out menus in your kitchen drawer, head to your local farmers' market (yes, they're still open) and whip up this fast-and-fresh panzanella (bread and tomato salad) from chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno and Piccolo Sogno Due. We can't think of a better meal to enjoy during those not-so-endless dog days.
Chef Tony works closely with local purveyors, including Green Acres Farm, to make the most of tomato season on the menus at Piccolo Sogno and Piccolo Sogno Due. The stars on the menu right now include beautiful heirlooms, like Early Girl, Sun Sugar, Brandywine, and other varieties.
Tony Priolo's Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad)
12 mixed heirloom tomatoes, diced into bite-size pieces
1 celery stalk (center preferred)
¼ cup basil leaves, torn by hand
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced into bite-size pieces
3 scallions, sliced
1 small red onion (preferably Tropea onion), sliced into thin ribbons
1 cup diced stale bread (day-old)
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1. In a large mixing bowl, add first nine ingredients and mix well.
2. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Let rest two hours before serving, so the bread can soak up the flavors.
4. Mix again before serving and adjust the seasoning. if needed.