Panzanella is to the salad of the summer as that new song with Billy Ray Cyrus is to the song of the summer. Nothing like a poignant analogy to get the weekend started, am I right? What I mean is this – once you hear that song, you can’t stop listening to it. Once you eat your first panzanella salad of the summer, you can’t stop. And you shouldn’t stop. What better and more pure way to make the most of all of the summer tomatoes and fresh herbs that are available in abundance this time of year. Panzanella salad is definitely a crowd pleaser. It’s the salad for people who don’t like salad. Fresh produce is combined with crisp croutons that, when left alone for a bit, start to soak up the vinaigrette that they are tossed with. This Tomato Avocado Salad is a recipe that I reach for year after year, when tomatoes of all shapes and sizes are at their peak. In addition to cucumbers, red onion, and fresh mint leaves, torn pieces of crusty bread are toasted with za’atar seasoning and drizzled with a mustardy lemon vinaigrette. Give this recipe for Tomato Avocado Salad with Za’atar Croutons a try while tomatoes are ripe!
- 8 ounces crusty bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons za'atar
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 12 ounces mixed tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced if large
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil, za'atar, and a pinch of salt; arrange in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until golden and crunchy, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, soak onion in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain well. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil until thick and emulsified. Add cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, mint, croutons, and drained onion; toss gently to combine.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305