I've heard from service managers that our customers are getting enormous harvests of cherry tomatoes every week (see this aptly titled entry
from our demo garden). If you find yourself getting bored with the ubiquitous (yet delicious) caprese salad, I recommend the lesser-known panzanella salad.
Sometimes known as the "leftover salad," it's made by tossing old bread with tomatoes, red onion and basil in a vinaigrette dressing. It's common to add whichever ingredients you have on hand, such as cucumber, bell peppers, capers, cubed mozzarella, and even garbanzo beans for some added protein. Here's what I used:
4 c cubed bread
3 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20 leaves basil, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, cut into 1/8" semicircles
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
The process is simple - toss everything together, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes, and enjoy!
A few notes about my ingredients: I wanted to make this today and didn't have aged bread on hand, so I cubed a loaf and toasted it at 425 for about 10 minutes, stirring once. My harvest of cherry tomatoes has been less prolific lately, so some of mine were bought at the market. I only had pickling cucumbers on hand, so I peeled most of the tougher skin off - that's not necessary with most slicing varieties.
If you're still looking for a few more things to do with your cherry tomatoes, check out my post about roasting them here
- they're great not only with pasta, but also in a wrap or spread on a slice of bread. I'll also be posting another recipe in a day or two that using both squash and cherry tomatoes, so keep an eye out for that!