Winter Panzanella with Fresh Mozzarella


A winter spin on this classic, Italian salad. Using roasted cherry tomatoes adds sweetness and flavor when fresh-picked, local tomatoes are out of season.


4 cups crusty Italian bread, cut into cubes
2 pints cherry tomatoes
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 small red onion, halved then sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper


In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add ¼ cup oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking to create an emulsion. Add sliced onion and toss to marinate.

Heat two tablespoons oil in a 12-inch pan over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and roast until skin starts to blister, about five minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute. Empty contents of pan into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Return pan to heat and add remaining two tablespoons oil. Add bread cubes and toast, turning occasionally, for about five minutes. Add to tomatoes and let cool.

Add basil and mozzarella to bowl with tomatoes and bread cubes. Add dressing and onion and toss to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.