For the panzanella:
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the ‘lick-the-bowl good’ vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup good olive oil (I used a few tablespoons of olive oil. It was still good enough to lick the bowl.)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.