Panzanella is an Italian salad made with hunks of bread or croutons, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and other seasonings. Michael Chiarello says to make this salad with the most flavorful tomatoes you can find and any combination of wild mushrooms.
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1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, preferably homemade
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 cup baby greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook until golden and fragrant. Stir in the chopped thyme, diced bread and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the croutons on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat until just smoking. Add the shallots and thyme and cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shiitakes and cook until tender and golden brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Season the shiitakes with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, mix the croutons with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, red onion, red wine vinegar, the cooked shiitakes and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the panzanella on plates and garnish with the baby greens, cherry tomatoes and the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The toasted croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
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