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Panzanella is a salad of ripe tomatoes tossed with stale bread that soaks up the sweet juices. It’s a staple of the Italian summer table, but those who can tomatoes at home (or have access to canned tomatoes of similar quality) can enjoy a nearly-as-good version year round. The addition of arugula, mozzarella, radicchio and roasted fennel in this recipe from master preserver Camilla Wynne turns the salad into a full meal, but feel free to experiment with other ingredients as well such as cooked squash, mushrooms, shredded kale, or burrata. 

Featured in “Learn How to Can Tomatoes the Easy Way.”

Canned Tomato Panzanella
The hearty Italian salad isn’t just for summer.
Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. country bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, coarsely chopped, fronds reserved
  • ¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. canned tomato halves, preferably homemade, drained (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into 2-in. pieces
  • 3 cups lightly packed arugula
  • 2 cups shredded radicchio leaves

Instructions

  1. On a wire rack, spread the bread in an even layer and let it stand until dry, about 8 hours. (Alternatively, transfer the bread to a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven until dry but not brown, about 15 minutes.)
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the fennel with 1 tablespoon of the oil and salt and black pepper to taste. Bake until tender and beginning to brown, about 22 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and black pepper to taste, and remaining olive oil and pulse until smooth, about 8 one-second pulses.
  4. Transfer the tomato purée to a salad bowl, then add the bread and toss to coat. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften. Add the mozzarella, arugula, radicchio, and reserved fennel and toss to combine. Garnish with the fennel fronds.

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