Whoa busy freaking week! I (Michael) have been swamped with freelance work but luckily I have a wonderful, beautiful and extremely helpful wife to get me through these busy nights. Times like these call for archived photos of previous dishes and quick weeknight meals (that are healthy as well since sometimes I'm too busy to hit the gym). This salad is the epitome of the three. Not to mention it was our out first panzanella recipe! It was a good, light and healthy summer salad. I think it's key to use some good bread. We were going to just use a few slices of wheat sandwich bread (BLAND!), but we found a petite loaf of flax and bran on sale at the grocery store and it worked perfectly. Serves 4-6. Modified from Eating Well.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, divided
- 4 cups 1/2-inch crusty multigrain bread cubes (we used about 3/4 of a medium sized flax & bran loaf from the bakery)
- 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
- 3 large ripe but firm tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 large green, red and/or yellow bell peppers, diced
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup olive brine (liquid in the olive jar)
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lettuce, to serve on
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Peel and half two cloves of the garlic. Mash garlic into the oil with a fork to infuse it with flavor; discard the garlic. Stir bread cubes into the oil until lightly coated. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until very crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, mince the remaining two cloves of garlic into the skillet. Add shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through, 3-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Combine shrimp, tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, chives, olives and olive brine, vinegar, thyme and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Toss the croutons with the shrimp mixture and serve the salad over the lettuce.