Purslane Panzanella Salad

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Despite its simplicity, a Purslane Panzanella is more than just another tomato salad with croutons. Good Italian bread is important. Ciabatta will do in a pinch but unsalted Tuscan pane sciocco is traditional. Whatever you choose it must be stale. Don’t waste your time trying to make it with fresh bread – it will just disintegrate.

Purslane Panzanella Salad

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from The KitchnPublished
Purslane Panzanella Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 ounce Italian style rustic bread (with crusts)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 2-3 good size heirloom tomatoes (or more if small, about 4 cups chopped)
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cup purslane (loosely packed)
  • 1 cup whole fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
  • 4 ounce diced aged goat cheese (optional)

Directions

Slice or tear the bread into bite-sized cubes. Spread the bread cubes over a baking sheet. Leave uncovered overnight to stale and harden. Alternatively, bake in a 300°F oven until hardened on the outside but still slightly soft in the middle, 8 to 12 minutes, tossing once or twice during baking. Do not toast the bread all the way.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper in a jar. Shake vigorously. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Shake or mix the vinaigrette again just before serving.

Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion into thin slices.

Combine the bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top and fold to thoroughly combine. Let the salad sit at least half an hour or up to 4 hours before serving. Stir occasionally so the juices and vinaigrette are evenly distributed.

Just before serving stir in the purslane and basil. Garnish with goat cheese (if using).