Panzanella -- the Ultimate Summer Salad for a Crowd?

 Panzanella Salad 

Panzanella Salad 

There's a crowd coming to my house for lunch. 

Not really. It's a "virtual" lunch, connecting my fellow kosher bloggers who live throughout the world. We are celebrating three years of friendship. Everyone will post a recipe so we can feast together, if only in our imaginations.

So, what to feed a kosher crowd?

It isn't as straightforward as you might think. The rules of kashruth are not simple. In fact, books have been written on the subject. Most people, even those who aren't Jewish and/or kosher, know the basics: no pig, no shellfish, no meat with dairy; only kosher meat, etc. etc.

But there's more to it and not everyone who is kosher follows the same rules. For example, some people only eat dairy products produced under the supervision of a Jewish person who will make sure the animals are kosher. People who are orthodox won't eat fish together with meat, whereas people who are conservative will. 

And more, too much to go into here.

That, plus all the other, nonkosher dietary stuff -- lots of folks these days are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant. Some people don't eat meat. There are fish allergies! Nut allergies!

I want to avoid all that.

Oh myohmyohmy. 

Here's what I decided to make:

It's August and it's hot out. No one want s a heavy meal. The best food on the market now?

Tomatoes.

So my lunch is a salad built around summer's gorgeous produce. Plus a sprinkling of August's other culinary gem: fresh basil from my garden.

It's still a filling lunch, because I've added lots of vegetables to the usual bread-and-tomato salad. For the gluten-free folk there are plenty of good, crusty breads to substitute for the Tuscan-style or ciabatta called or in my recipe.

This dish has no meat, no fish, no poultry, no cheese, no dairy. Can be gluten-free. Strictly kosher. Delicious too.

Happy 3rd everyone!

 

Panzanella

 

  • 1 pound crusty, 2-day old Tuscan style bread or ciabatta
  • cold water
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 sweet red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 7-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into large dice and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the bread for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and place the pieces in a large bowl. Let cool. Add the red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, peas, capers, basil and garlic and toss the ingredients. Mix the smaller quantities of olive oil and red wine vinegar and pour over the salad. Sprinkle with freshly ground back pepper to taste. Toss the salad and add more olive oil and/or vinegar as needed to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Makes 6 servings

More delicious Kosher Connection recipes right here