Traditional Panzanella Salad

Serves 4. I know it isn't tomato season yet, but I forgot to add this recipe last summer and I didn't want you to miss it.  Margot's Morsels are perfect for adding flavor to this wonderful traditional main-dish salad.
  • 1 ¼ pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2-3 bags of Margot’s Morsels Simply Sea Salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 medium cloves garlic, minced or grated (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, drained
  • ¼ cup or more (to taste) packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

Place morsels in a large bowl and sprinkle with some additional vinegar, set aside while making the rest of the dish.

Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons (8g) kosher salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes. Remove colander from bowl with tomato juice. Place colander with tomatoes in the sink. Salting and draining the tomatoes produces tons of flavorful liquid to build up a lot of vinaigrette—essential for rehydrating the morsels.

Add shallot, garlic, mustard, and vinegar to the bowl with tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. In the large bowl, toss all the ingredients and let “steep” for 30 minutes, tossing regularly to get all the ingredients to blend.

Variations:
Like Ina Garten, I like adding cucumbers and recently, I found little bite-sized mozerella balls that I used for arancini, perfect to add to this salad.  This is ideal in the summer when the tomatoes are at their peak.

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