Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Bread Panzanella

The beauty of this summery salad is in its simplicity: Be sure to use good-quality olive oil and season generously!

Ingredients:
4 cups Italian Rustic bread, cut into large cubes
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
½ cup good-quality olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup freshly-crumbled feta or goat cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss the bread cubes with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Grill the bread cubes until lightly charred, turning frequently with tongs. (A grill basket works well for this if you have it; otherwise watch that you don’t lose the croutons down the grate!) Remove from the grill and reserve.

2. On a large platter, arrange the heirloom tomato slices and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped basil, cheese and grilled bread croutons and drizzle with another swirl of olive oil and, if desired, balsamic vinegar as well.

Variation: If you can find it, this salad is amazing topped with burrata cheese instead of the crumbled soft cheese!

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