Panzanella with Grilled Bread, Tomatoes, Basil, Arugula and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Curtis Stone’s twist on a traditional Tuscan salad is loaded with shallots, mozzarella cheese and light, juicy heirloom tomatoes.
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To learn about tomato varieties, see Tomatoes.

Serves: 4
Hands-on Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole-wheat loaf, cut into 1-in cubes (12 cups)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into 3/4-in cubes
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-in cubes
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

INSTRUCTIONS: 

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Garlic oil can be made up to 6 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Curtis Stone recommends using his Curtis Stone Indoor Grill.
  2. Using Curtis Stone ‘Bump and Grind’ Mortar and Pestle or a large heavy knife, mash garlic with a pinch of salt into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.
  3. Brush bread slices with 1/4 cup of garlic oil. Grill until golden, about 5 mins per side. Cut bread into cubes.
  4. Whisk vinegar into remaining garlic oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, toss grilled bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, arugula, and shallots with enough vinaigrette to coat. Let stand 10 to 15 mins at room temperature to allow flavors to develop, then toss again just before serving.