Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad) with Mozzarella and Fontina

Makes 10-12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf artisan-style baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 medium vine ripened tomatoes, seeded, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced 1/2"
  • 1 cup basil leaves, julienned and loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) fresh Mozzarella cheese "pearls" or cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) Italian Fontina cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. nonpareil capers with juice
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp.  kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until slightly dry and just turning golden brown. Remove and cool.

While bread is cooling, prepare vegetables and cheese; place in salad bowl. Combine vinegar, capers, garlic and salt in small bowl; whisk in olive oil.

Toss vegetables and cheese with bread. Pour dressing over top and toss until evenly coated.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.