Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad
  • 3 cups of 2- or 3-day old Italian bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 pounds (8-10) very ripe Roma or plum tomatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup cucumber in small pieces
  • 1 cup drained canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 -10 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 grinds black pepper
  1. Soak the bread in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove it from the bowl and squeeze it well with your hands.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine the bread, capers, onion, celery, cucumbers and chick-peas. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the parsley, garlic, oregano and vinegar.
  5. Pulse the machine two or three times to combine.
  6. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth.
  7. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, add the basil, and toss well to combine.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Allow the salad to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.