I’m not entirely sure,  but I think the tomatoes we received this week are HEIRLOOM tomatoes! For lunch yesterday I made a Panzanella salad and I combined 3 different recipes I found off of epicurious and allrecipes. Panzanella salad is an Italian salad where instead of greens, there is crispy, seasoned pieces of Italian bread. I first had it when my principal made it for one of our lunch meetings and it was pret-ty amazing.

I walked over to Chelsea Market and laid down $4.75 for an organic rustic Italian loaf, but I think a regular ciabatta loaf or baguette would work just fine too. But, that bread was really yummy! This salad was a bit more work than a regular salad, since you grill (or in my case brown in a pan) the squash and bake the bread pieces, but it was so tasty, it was worth waiting until 4 PM to eat my lunch! I also quickly sauteed some chicken in the blackened squash pan and added it to the salad for some extra protein in my lunch.

Ingredients:
2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1.5 inch strips
1/2 walla walla onion, sliced
3 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 sweet peppers, sliced
1 rustic Italian loaf or Ciabatta loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Drizzle squash strips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on each side. Set aside on paper-toweled plate.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl,  toss bread pieces with 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Lay bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Cut grilled squash strips into 1 inch pieces. Toss onions, tomatoes and peppers together in bowl. Add the grilled squash pieces and the bread pieces.*

4. Mix the 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

*If you aren’t going to eat the entire salad right away, I would keep the grilled squash and bread pieces separate until just before serving, and also wait to dress the salad.

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