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Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetarian

Tomato-herb panzanella

Tomato-herb panzanella
Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

In southern California, where we enjoy lively, vibrant farmers markets year-round, on every day of the week, in almost every neighborhood, deciding what's for dinner can, perhaps even should, be less about careful planning than serendipity. Maybe epiphany. There's a ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 cups country white bread, preferably stale, cut into 1/4 -inch cubes
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chile, minced
  • 4 medium black tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups halved grape and/or cherry tomatoes, assorted colors
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup watercress

Step 1In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and salt and then toast until golden, tossing frequently for even cooking, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Add the minced garlic and chile and toss to coat the bread. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn't get too brown. Remove from the heat.

Step 3In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, vinegar and black pepper. Add the bread mixture and toss to coat. Let sit for about 30 minutes for flavors to combine.

Step 4Add the oregano, basil, parsley and watercress to the salad, toss. Check for seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Serve immediately, with a drizzle of olive oil.

Note: Black tomatoes can be found at farmers markets and selected grocery stores; you can substitute other medium heirloom or on-the-vine tomatoes.

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