Chunky Panzanella Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette


  • 1 ripe Roma tomato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
    or white wine vinegar
  • ground black pepper
Crouton Ingredients
  • ½ of a baguette or equivalent
    (sourdough, French bread, focaccia,
    or rustic would be the best)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 2 pounds of tomatoes, mixed varieties
    and shapes and colors, preferably organic
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. bleu cheese
Chunky Panzanella Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut Roma tomato in half lengthwise. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven until shriveled and starting to turn brown, about 20-30 minutes.
    2. While tomatoes are roasting, tear the bread into large irregular chunks. Toss in ½ cup olive oil, garlic, a large pinch of salt and pepper until all oil has be absorbed. Lay out on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake until they are to desired crispiness, tossing a few times. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
    3. Place the roasted tomatoes in the bowl of a blender or small food processor. Add the vinegar and ½ cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place lid on bowl and puree until smooth. If needed, added a pinch of sugar. Refrigerate until service.
    4. Approximately 10 minutes before serving, wash tomatoes. Cut as desired into large bite size pieces. If using cherry or teardrop tomatoes, slice in half.
    5. In a large bowl, combine croutons, tomatoes, and bleu cheese. Slice, shred or tear the basil and add. Season with salt and pepper. Add vinaigrette while stirring. Add enough vinaigrette until everything is coated well. If there is vinaigrette that is not used, refrigerate for up to a week.
    6. This salad will be best if tossed and allowed to rest for about 10 minutes or longer before eating. Ideally, the inside of the crouton should be crunchy and the outside saturated with vinaigrette.

    Serves 4-6 depending on size.


    ©2016 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger