A California Panzanella
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This is a wildcard panzanella. And it is very Northern California inspired. I first featured a grilled version of it in Super Natural Cooking after enjoying a quirky sandwich while driving up the California coast to a spot near Anchor Bay. The sandwich was a mix of oven-roasted tomatoes, peanut butter dressing, grilled tofu, and sprouts, all pinned between two slices of multigrain bread. Odd yet completely delicious. I liked it enough to rework it into this twist on panzanella, the much-loved Italian bread salad.
This version in Super Natural Cooking is grilled. This version you can make using your oven instead. Just remember, when the weather warms, roll out your grill – toast the bread, and cook the tofu slabs that way.
You have some options with the tomatoes. When cherry tomatoes are abundant, and in-season, I love to toss them in a bit of olive oil, and roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until browned and blistered. But, you can also use chopped, sun-dried tomatoes, the ones packed in oil are best here. Kind of raisin-y in texture.
This is a great way to use up day-old bread. It’s even better than using a loaf of fresh because the bread ends up more structured and hearty.