Calabrian Pesto Panzanella Salad
4 cups crusty French bread, torn into 1” pieces
3 cups ripe tomatoes cut into 1” dice
8 oz. mozzarella fresca cut or torn into 1” pieces (optional)
1/3 cup Cayenne Olive Oil
2 tbsp of Pesto
3 Tablespoons Traditional Balsamic, or your favorite vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1. In a bowl large enough to hold the tomatoes and cheese, combine the vinegar with salt and whisk to combine. Add the Pesto Olive Oil and whisk to make a simple vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes and cheese, turning to coat thoroughly with the vinaigrette. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2.To plate, in a large bowl, add the torn bread to the tomatoes and cheese along with all the accumulated liquid from the marinade. Add torn basil and adjust seasoning with fresh ground pepper to taste and additional salt if necessary. Gently toss until the bread is just moistened. Serve at room temperature.