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Panzanella with Fresh Garden Vegetables

(this was the perfect amount for 26 people)

two loaves of any hearty bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 onions
6-8 zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
1-2 large cucumbers
8 15 oz cans white beans
10 ears fresh corn
4 lbs fresh tomatoes (cherry or grape work well but bigger ones are fine too)
few stems of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh basil
s & p
olive oil
vinegar (red, white, balsamic–whatever’s around)
dijon mustard

Note: each point is a discrete task that can be delegated.


– Preheat oven to 350° on “convect” setting.

– Boil a big pot of water for corn.

– Toss cubes of bread with plenty of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and the fresh thyme and put them in the oven to toast, spread evenly on two baking sheets, maybe stirring them at some point along the way.  They are done when they are golden brown (watch so they don’t burn).

– Dice onions and saute in olive oil in a large pot till tender.

– Shuck the corn.  When the water boils, put the ears in for 5 mins till tender. Cool till you can handle them, then cut the corn off the cobs.  (Alternatively, if cutting the corn off the cobs seems annoying, you could just cut the cobs into smaller chunks and just serve it on the side).

– While onions are cooking, slice zucchini and summer squash once lengthwise and then into a half-inch thick half-moons.  Add to onions, season with salt and pepper and more fresh thyme, saute till just tender.

– Drain and rinse the cans of beans and add them to the onions and squash, adding a little more salt and pepper.  When the beans are warm, transfer the mixture to serving bowls.

– Wash and chop the tomatoes (just in half for the little ones, quarters for the bigger ones).

– Wash and tear the basil leaves from their stems; roughly chop (optional).

– Wash and chop the cucumber.

– Assemble all ingredients in one or two serving bowls.

– Dress with vinaigrette: 1 C olive oil, ⅓ C balsamic, 1 teaspoon dijon if you can find some in the fridge, S & P.

This recipe is also available as a google doc.

Prepared with our help by Sarah at St. Lydia’s on August 5, 2012

Posted in: Recipes

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