Would you like some salad with your juicy croutons? Tuscan Panzanella is not a tomato salad with bread but a "bread" salad with tomatoes. And it's one of the most sensational ways to celebrate your summer menu. 

4 cups 2-inch cubes of dry (not stale) bread, or tear into chunks
3 cups cocktail (or cherry) tomatoes, halved vertically (or cut in 2-inch chunks for larger tomatoes)
1/2 red onion or 1 shallot, minced (2 tbsp)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1-1/2 cup + 2 tsp EVOO
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp Sherry Reserva Red Wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste before serving
1 cup pitted mix olives, roughly chopped (optional)
Shaved Parmesan for garnish (optional) 


Place chopped tomatoes in a colander or sieve, over a medium bowl. Sprinkle salt. Toss to coat. Set aside to drain for 15 minutes. The tomatoes' juice will be an ingredient in the dressing. Preheat oven to 350°. Toss bread cubes in 2 tablespoons EVOO. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp, but not brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Remove tomatoes that were draining in colander from bowl. In the same bowl and with the tomato juice, whisk onion, garlic, mustard and vinegar to blend. Drizzle remaining EVOO. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine bread, tomatoes and dressing in large bowl. Gently toss again. Let rest for 1/2 hour, tossing occasionally until dressing is absorbed in bread. Before serving add basil leaves. Toss one more time before serving.

Inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, former culinary director for Serious Eats.