Heirloom Tomato Panzanella with Creamy Ricotta

RECIPE BY KEVIN O'CONNOR MAY 29th, 2020

An untouchable classic. After making this you’ll wonder why you haven’t been putting toasted chunks of bread in your salads from the beginning. This salad is the perfect outlet for leftover, stale bread.

 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plus
  • 2 tablespoons California Classic EVOO
  • 4 cups of sourdough or naturally leavened bread, torn in to 1 inch chunks
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes (~1 lb.)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or red spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaf
  • 7-9 large basil leaves, torn in half
  • 1 cup soft ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method

1. Start by making the croutons. Preheat the oven to 375F. Toss the torn chunks of bread in the 2 tablespoons of EVOO and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. Set aside.

2. Slice the tomatoes in to random shapes/bite size chunks and place in a large mixing bowl with the sliced onion, red wine vinegar, ¼ cup EVOO, parsley and basil. Add the toasted bread and toss well to combine. The large chunks of bread will soak up the dressing and juices from the tomatoes but retain a bit of crunch.

3. To serve, layer spoonfuls of the tomato salad on to a serving dish with dollops of the ricotta cheese.