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Chef Gina Makes Peach Panzanella Salad

With the “dog days” of summer officially upon us, this month’s recipes will all be no or low bake – meaning you won’t have to turn on your oven to make these, and if you do, it will only be for a short period of time – I promise. The beauty of these types of recipes is that they do not heat up your home, and they are quick and easy – more about assembling fresh, summer ingredients than about technique or timing. 
This grilled peach Panzanella salad is easy and impressive – mainly because most people are familiar with a Panzanella salad, also called an Italian bread salad (although traditionally made with tomatoes) but have never actually made one. I like it because it’s a unique way to use peaches versus the traditional cobbler or grilled cobbler recipes we’ve shared before. Either way, each time I’ve made it, my guests have been delightfully surprised by how simple and tasty it is. And, while it’s not an original recipe, it is a crowd-pleaser – as well as a unique potluck option – Enjoy!

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Peach Panzanella Salad

Prep Time: 20 min

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ RED ONION, THINLY SLICED
  • ½ CUP WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • ½ LOAF CIABATTA BREAD, CUT INTO 1.5-INCH CUBES
  • ½ CUP OLIVE OIL
  • SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 6 RIPE PEACHES, SLICED INTO ½ INCH PIECES
  • 1/3 CUP BASIL LEAVES, TORN
  • 1 OZ BALL BURRATA (OR 4 SMALLER BALLS)

Directions

Tips

  • If making ahead of time or bringing to a party, assemble most of the ingredients but do not mix dressing or burrata into “salad” until right before about to be served. The bread soaks up the dressing and gets a bit soggy within an hour or two, so wait to mix and top with burrata until service time
  • White balsamic is slightly milder than its more well-known “red” balsamic counterpart. If you only have red, it will work but the color on the bread and peaches will be slightly altered by it  
  • While this is a great side dish, I often top it with (already cooked) shrimp or tuna and make a complete meal out of it on hot summer nights 
  • If you can’t find burrata feel free to substitute with mozzarella. Although not as moist, it is a delicious option
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