Bon Appetit, September: Fried-Bread Panzanella with Ricotta and Herbs

Bon Appetit, September: Fried-Bread Panzanella with Ricotta and Herbs

Well, this was a fun one. You put cheese, tomatoes, basil, and bread together, and it’s hard to go wrong. At least, that’s my general assumption about life, and in this instance, the assumption holds strong.

First off, this recipe is much easier than it sounds, so don’t be scared off by the fancy words like “Panzanella”. Whether or not you can pronounce a recipe is completely irrelevant to whether or not you should make it. Also, I apologize in advance for the blurry pictures. My appetite would not wait on the perfect lighting to make this. 😛

You can find Bon Appetit’s article here, which I followed pretty well this time, surprisingly for me. I tend to be a throw-whatever-I-feel-like-into-a-bowl kind of cook, which mostly turns out alright, and sometimes most decidedly does not. I did swap the shallot for a yellow onion, since a Bon Appetit editor gave me grudging permission to do so, but I could feel him up there judging me. My bread was not as thick as it should have been, and I did not use sheep’s milk ricotta, because apparently my local grocery store is not fancy enough to carry it. I even (gasp) chopped my herbs instead of leaving them whole and fancy, because who wants to eat large leaves uncut? Okay, maybe I didn’t follow the recipe that precisely after all. But all that said, it was delicious anyhow, and definitely something I want to make often, every summer.

  • 6 oz. fresh ricotta
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1½” pieces
  • 1/4 yellow onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 1″-thick slices sourdough bread

  • Mix the ricotta and 2 Tbsp. oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  • In another bowl, toss tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, and vinegar; season with salt.
  • Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet and lay your bread slices in the oil. Fry bread until deep golden brown on one side (that’s right, only one side). When done, put it on a cutting board, sprinkle with salt, and cut into 1½” pieces. Toss into tomato mixture.
  • Spread ricotta mixture over plates and top with salad; drizzle with more oil.

This is a great appetizer for a fancy dinner. It can also serve 4 people as a side, and it works about right for a main dish for two very hungry people. (Whistles innocently)

Here’s the link to my previous Bon Appetit recipe:

Bon Appetit, August: Plum Salad With Parmesan and Black Pepper

One thought on “Bon Appetit, September: Fried-Bread Panzanella with Ricotta and Herbs

  1. If your birthday is coming, hint hint to Rachel. She makes birthday feasts worth repeating. Worth having birthdays often.

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