Nectarine – Tomato Panzanella
September 17, 2016 § 2 Comments
Yes, I realize I am posting a recipe for a summer panzanella after Labor Day in the middle of September. Nevertheless, it’s been quite warm in Baltimore recently and I had delicious ripe nectarines and heirloom tomatoes that I wanted to enjoy before I’m inundated with apples, pumpkins, and all of the lovely autumn produce. Plus when I saw this heart-shaped heirloom tomato at my local farmers’ market, I just had to get it – so adorable!
This panzanella is simple yet delicious because it really allows the seasonal, fresh flavors to shine through. With my green salads, I love having more toppings than the actual lettuce/greens and I feel the same way about panzanella so my bread to topping ratio is a little lower than other recipes. Feel free to play around with this on your own and switch up the flavors depending on your preference and what is in season!
I love how the fresh nectarines, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella blend together so well. This salad is so easy and accommodating, plus it is the perfect make-ahead meal that packs well for lunches and picnics!
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 loaf day old crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 nectarines, cut into wedges and thinly sliced
- 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into wedges
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, grated to a paste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar + more to taste
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss bread cubes with a few splashes of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lay bread cubes in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until crisp and dried out. Let cool on the baking sheet on top of a wire rack.
In a large bowl, toss together nectarines, large and small tomatoes, shallot, garlic paste, and basil.
In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add bread cubes and vinaigrette to nectarine-tomato mixture and toss to combine. Top with fresh mozzarella. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving. Toss with more olive oil before serving if needed and finish with flaky sea salt and fresh basil.