Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella.

Let me tell you a little story about why we should probably eat this salad everyday this week.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

Well, that’s definitely a lie, because if we ate salad or something as such in this household every single time after we ate a lot of delicious (bacon and butter covered) food… then we’d basically have to live on salad. And THAT is not fun. Ever.

Except with this one. Maybe.


Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

Saturday night we went out to dinner. What does my husband order? Guess.

No, seriously. Just guess.

Okay, you’re no fun: he orders a chicken. Like, an entire chicken. Like, an entire fried chicken. A whole fried chicken, some cornbread, and maybe like, two cups worth of baked beans.

He takes it all down, practically in record time.

[Um more importantly? He ate that entire chicken with a knife and a fork. Seriously impressive. But that’s neither here nor there.]

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

Then, the man lifts up his shirt and shows us how his 8-pack is still there.

Alright… that’s another complete lie but whatever. I’m not telling the truth, thank God. He’s way too classy for that… I think. Instead, the abs just hid under his shirt, still looking quite defined, which is good enough reason for me to tell him to take a long walk off a short pier most days. Stupidly unfair.

And after he eats this entire fried chicken? He’s not even full. As in he is anxiously perusing a menu at a bar for more food at midnight, a mere two hours after his chicken dinner. Is this real life?

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

It is.

It is real life.

Because THEN… less than 12 hours later, at breakfast, he scarfs down two eggs, sausage, bacon, home fries, and huge biscuits smothered in sausage gravy. And that was just the start of Sunday. I can’t even comprehend how it’s possible to take in these copious amounts of food.

So! He texts me yesterday during lunch saying, “Ugh. I need to detox. I ate sooo much this weekend.” Nooo… are you sure? I respond, asking what he ate for lunch, and he tells me that he ate four chicken enchiladas. Innnnnteresting. I like the idea of this chicken enchilada detox even if he is VIRTUALLY INSANE.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

I, on the other hand, actually did eat a salad for lunch. This salad. And this is so my type of salad. Well, I guess I ate four salads for lunch. Because I ate all of this.

It’s apparently clear that I have a current fascination with roasted tomatoes, and adding things like tons of bread, cheese, basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze and salt is something I could inhale day after day. The key is to make all of your ingredients the exact same size… and then you get the perfect bite. And yes, eating a… “salad” of uniformly sized ingredients is the highlight of my day.

I am a very fun girl.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella

[inspired by my roasted autumn panzanella]

serves about 4

4 cups grape tomatoes

4 cups cubed multigrain bread

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella balls/pearls (I cut a few balls into fours)

15-20 fresh basil leaves

a heavy dose of balsamic glaze

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On one baking sheet, lay the tomatoes down and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On a separate baking sheet, place the cubed bread and toss it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place both sheets in the oven. Roast the tomatoes for a full 20 minutes, tossing once during cooking. Toast the bread for 10-12 minutes, until golden, tossing 2-3 times during cooking.

Place mozzarella on a paper towel to remove a bit of the moisture and water. Chop any larger basil leaves, leaving the smaller ones intact if desired.

In a large bowl, add bread, tomatoes, basil, remaining salt and pepper. Gently toss with two large spoons, trying to keep the tomatoes intact for pretty visual purposes. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the salad, and then add on a liberal drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Panzanella I

Chomp chomp.