DaVero Panzanella

This is a delicious twist on an Italian classic, and well worth making!

Nobody needs a recipe for panzanella (essentially a bread and tomato salad) since it's really about using bounty and leftovers in whatever measure you have.

One caveat: you MUST start with good bread with some structure or you'll end up with a soggy, mealy mess.

Our variation includes the addition of some eggplant and cucumbers that were overtaking the garden, along with pine nuts.

Whether you make this or another variation, though, whatever you come up with is sure to be perfect!

Leftover bread cubed or torn into chunks, dried or toasted slightly Ripe tomatoes A cucumber, seeded if big Eggplant--I like the Japanese Extra Virgin Olive oil Splash of vinegar Kosher or sea salt Pepper Fresh basil--do not use dried. In fact if you have dried basil in your cupboard throw it away. Handful of toasted pine nuts

Roughly chop your tomatoes and place in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt. Peel and dice the cucumber.

Slice eggplant in 1/2" thick coins and salt lightly. Let them "weep" for ten minutes, dry with a paper towel and coat with a little olive oil. Spread on a sheet pan and roast in 350 oven until browned and the bottoms are a little crispy. Let cool, then cut into quarters.

At same time toast the pine nuts lightly.

Combine equal parts of chopped tomatoes and bread, and allow them to marinate for a bit so the bread gets juicy. Add the cucumber, a splash of oil, vinegar, and some torn basil leaves.

Adjust seasoning. Top with pine nuts and eggplant and toss lightly.


Colleen is an accomplished chef and restaurateur. Originally from a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, Colleen learned to cook in France and Germany before settling in the Bay Area. She spent five years as a chef at Star's in San Francisco, then came to Healdsburg where she and two friends opened Samba Java, a spot that quickly became the center of the town. She now runs both DaVero and the farm.

Posted in Extra Virgin, Salads

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