Serious Eats: Recipes

Essentials: Salad With Tomatoes and Grilled Bread (Not Day Old Bread)

Panzanella (tomato-bread salad) and pappa al pomodoro (tomato-bread soup) both intimidated me as a home cook—until a couple of loaves of old bread forced me into trying them.

As it turns out, it’s pretty hard to combine decent tomatoes and decent bread and create something other than success. Previously, I had seen recipes that involved soaking stale bread in water and then wringing it out, which seemed kind of gross and elaborate. Turns out that none of that is really necessary—your bread doesn’t even have to be stale. You can dry it out in the oven or take your chances with fresh bread, which might not be authentic but has never disappointed me.

Here's my favorite basic tomato-bread salad. It’s fast, simple, and also luxurious. In fact, the grilled bread tips it over into decadence, but no one in my house is complaining.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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