Panzanella, or bread salad, is a great way to make a slightly stale baguette into something edible and tasty. I had the requisite main ingredient sitting around - a rock hard baguette that had been sitting on the kitchen table for almost a week - so I decided to give it a try. To make it, cut the bread into cubes and, if it is still soft, dry it out by sticking in the oven for a few minutes. Throw in whatever vegetables and herbs you have lying around and toss it all together. I uses a couple tomatoes, a yellow bell pepper, a roasted red pepper, half a cucumber, onions, some olives, capers, basil, parsley, and tuna packed in olive oil. I think that last ingredient is a bit untraditional, but it tasted good.You will also want to add olive oil and vinegar. I made a dressing of olive oil, mustard, orange muscat vinegar, oregano and garlic. For the amount I was making, I needed about 1/3 cup of dressing. You can also top the salad with freshly grated cheese. Let everything sit for at least an hour so the flavors mix and the bread soaks up a lot of the moisture. If the bread is hard enough to begin with, it will have this nice texture where it is soft on the outside from all the dressing and liquids from the vegetables, but still a bit crunchy in the middle.
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