Italian Panzanella

  • 3 cups (710 ml) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup (178 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) red wine/Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic to taste
  • 25 fresh whole basil leaves
  • 25 baguette croutons
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the whole basil leaves and croutons. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, place one basil leaf atop each crouton, and top with one heaping tablespoon of Panzanella.
  • To make the croutons, slice the French bread/baguette into 1/2-inch to 1-inch-thick (1.3-2.5 cm) pieces. Place the slices on a baking sheet, and bake at 350F (177C) until toasted.