Grilled Bread and Tomato Salad

The Italian classic panzanella gets a new spin when you grill the bread. This added dimension, I think, further brings out the sweetness of dead-ripe beefsteak tomatoes. The juxtaposition of the caramelized, toasted bread against the sweet-tart tomatoes makes for plenty of contrast in flavor and texture. You can also try this without grilling the tomatoes, if you prefer. Just don’t make this salad too far in advance. You want the bread to have a little structure and crispness.
By / Photography By Ben Fink | February 15, 2010

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces day-old Italian bread, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices
  • 6 dead-ripe meaty tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 1⁄3 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 or 8 grindings black pepper

Instructions

1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. When it’s about half melted, throw in the garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the garlic to take on a little bit of color. Remove from heat and brush this mixture on both sides of each slice of bread.

2. Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Place the bread on the grill, close the lid and cook, turning once, until well marked. Careful here; depending on the moisture content of the bread, this could happen as quickly as 2 minutes (or about 1 minute on each side), but it usually takes about 4 minutes. Place the tomatoes on the grill, close the lid and cook for a few minutes per side.

4. Remove the bread to a cutting board, cut into ¾-inch cubes, and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes,
onion, olive oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss gently with your hands to combine.

Taste and adjust the seasonings if you desire. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from Grillin’ With Gas by Fred Thompson (Taunton Press, April 2009).

Related Stories & Recipes

How to Grill with Gas

It's Springtime and the Grillin' is Easy. We love this pastime that brings families and neighbors together over fire and table.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces day-old Italian bread, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices
  • 6 dead-ripe meaty tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 1⁄3 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 or 8 grindings black pepper
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60