Late Summer Jalapeño Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad

IT'S STILL SUMMER! I'm screaming this off all the rooftops in LA because not only does it feel like high summer here but also, TOMATOES! And stone fruit!! There are still so many tomatoes, plums, pluots, etc. to be enjoyed, devoured, baked into all the things, and of course, tossed in bread salads! Panzanella, aka bread salad, is one of my favorite things to make for any impromptu gathering because I almost always have a loaf of bread on hand, usually laying forgotten in the corner from the day before or the day before that when I felt like I NEEDED all the loaves. I can actually hear myself uttering the words, "I promise I need and will use all three loaves, mom. I mean Moses." I'm not a child!! I just like bread! And ok, I know, I know, you want sweaters, and pumpkin, and warm, cozy things but let's wait for a minute because it's still close to 100°F here and I'm holding on to the summer season for dear life.

Thanks for the photo, B! Group shot, also by Brooke Bass.

Thanks for the photo, B! Group shot, also by Brooke Bass.

In the spirit of summer, I whipped up this QUICK, INSANELY SIMPLE jalapeño stone fruit panzanella salad and pretended like I made it at Brooke's house to pair with her Strangebrew Beertails. Why? Well, first of all, why not? And secondly, because I was raised to never show up empty handed, always help with the dishes, and of course, bring a dish to every gathering. And since we were in Portland when the beertails and pimiento party went down, and we had been beer tasting all day, I didn't have the time nor the means to whip this bad boy up, so I went home and dreamt up the dish I would have brought. Instead, we brought growlers of IPA. While I would have loved to have fix this panzanella for everyone, growlers did seem appropriate and necessary.

These three are the sweetest trio around for inviting us into their home, feeding us copious amounts of pimiento cheese, and treating us to Strangebrew Beertails and lots of laughs.

These three are the sweetest trio around for inviting us into their home, feeding us copious amounts of pimiento cheese, and treating us to Strangebrew Beertails and lots of laughs.

A quick note before I send you off to enjoy one of the last weekends of the summer. The secret to this particular panzanella, has to be the bread. I used La Brea Bakery's Jalapeño Cheddar loaf and it added mountains of flavor to my typical panzanella salad. By all means, use this recipe as a guide, as it was written with that intent. Don't have micro greens? No prob, sub some wild arugula or baby kale. Don't have plums or nectarines on hand? Use what you've got! This salad is your oyster (wait, that didn't really work, or did it?)! Happy Friday and happy late summer. :D

Ps - Don't forget to head over to Chocolate and Marrow to get the recipe for the yummiest Strangebrew Beertail around!

Late Summer Jalapeño Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad

Serves 4 to 6, depending on portion size (and hunger levels)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2  Tbsp. + 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. day old bread, I used La Brea Jalapeño Cheddar, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 2 nectarines, diced
  • 2 plums, diced
  • 1 oz. micro greens
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 15-20 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. burrata, torn into 2-inch pieces

TOOLS

  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting board
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Large bowl
  • Plastic wrap

FIX

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl or serving dish, combine toasted bread cubes, tomatoes, nectarines, plums, micro greens and Persian cucumbers and gently toss. Drizzle remaining olive and champagne vinegar and toss again.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste then top with torn burrata.
  5. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks to my friends at La Brea Bakery for sponsoring my carb addiction. :D