After returning home from the farmers market laden with eggplant, red peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and a beautiful loaf of Cress Spring Bakery kamut bread, how could I not have come to the mouthwatering conclusion of grilling them all together for a charred version of the classic Italian bread salad panzanella? The dinner was inevitable. My ingredients sang to me. SANG, I tell you! I mean, just take a gander at that moist, toasty, slow-risen bread, for goodness sake.
Basing the concieved dish on my recipe for grilled summer vegetables, I sloshed all my ingredients together in a plastic bag along with a dash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs then grilled up a storm to produce a smoky, crunchy, juicy, MMMMMM salad.
Grilled Vegetable Panzanella (Gluten Free if using GF bread, Soy Free, Nut Free)
- 4-6 ounces whole-grain crusty bread, cubed
- 3 small eggplant, quartered and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 4 small Italian frying peppers (or 2 bell peppers), large diced
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 small heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients except tomatoes and basil in a large zip-top plastic bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag, seal firmly, and slosh the veggies and bread around until well coated with the oil and vinegar.
Spread the veggies IN A SINGLE EVEN LAYER on a grill pan and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring after 10, or until the veggies are tender and lightly charred.
Transfer to a large serving bowl and stir in the tomatoes and basil. Serve warm atop a bed of greens, if you like (as always, I like).
Local Ingredients: Kamut bread from Cress Spring Bakery, eggplant and tomatoes from Happy Valley Farm, Italian frying peppers from the Plahnt Farm, Tuscan rossi onions from Jones Valley Farm, Spanish Roja garlic from the Dane County Farmers Market, and basil from my garden.
Until next time, Ali.