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Market Fresh Recipe: Panzanella with Wild Arugula

This traditional Florentine dish transforms tomatoes and stale bread into a sumptuous salad.

It's September, but you would not know it from the nearly triple-digit temperatures that swept across Los Angeles last week.

When it gets hot, there is nothing better than a refreashing salad, like today's recipe for heirloom tomato bread salad with wild arugula. Also known as Panznella, this recipe is based on the Florentine dish that combines tomatoes with stale bread, olive oil and vinegar. Basil and onions often accompany it too.

Fortunately, heirloom tomatoes are still going strong at the . Another great thing about this recipe is that it makes use of stale bread.

In addition to the bread and tomatoes, I added some lovely purple basil and wild arugula to the dish, but feel free to make it without those flourishes. It's great either way.

Enjoy the last of the summer harvest with this sumptuous salad.

Heirloom Tomato Bread Salad (Panzanella) with Wild Arugula
Prep time: about 10 minutes
Serves 4 people
Vegan

Ingredients

  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup stale bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup wild arugula (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Place the bread in the bottom of a bowl. 
  2. Top with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  3. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes, until the bread soaks up the liquids from the tomatoes and softens. 
  4. Add the basil and arugula (optional) and toss to combine. Serve right away at room temperature. Enjoy!

Buy your ingredients at the West Hollywood Farmers' Market, held every Monday (rain or shine) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at , 1200 N. Vista St.

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