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panzanella with strawberries two ways

Panzanella is basically a BREAD SALAD. Need I say more? Local heritage grit bread from Tiller Bakery with South Carolina strawberries, burrata and a roasted strawberry and white balsamic vinaigrette is a total crowd pleaser. Olinda olive oil is involved during every step of the way, from baking the bread, to making the dressing, to drizzling on top!

1 pound loaf of bread, I love Tiller's grit bread but any artisanal loaf will do, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes (yields 8-10 cups, and the crust is the best part)

Kosher salt, to taste

6-10 basil leaves, plus more to garnish

Zest of one lemon

Quart of strawberries, separated and halved, with a handful set aside to garnish

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, separated

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons honey, I prefer Apis Mercantile bourbon barrel honey

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Variety of radishes, thinly sliced with a few set aside for garnish

2 cups arugula

4 burrata balls, quartered

Preheat oven to 350F. We are going to bake the bread and roast the strawberries at the same time! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet and toss with enough olive oil so that each piece gets crispy while baking. Season with salt to taste and toss the bread some more. Lay basil leaves on top of the bread in different places. Zest the lemon all over the bread. The goal is to bake the bread until the outside is hardened, but still soft in the middle. Bake about 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking. Remove from oven and let cool.

Line a 8-by-8 baking pan with foil and fill with 2 cups of halved strawberries. Drizzle with olive oil and 1.5 teaspoons of white balsamic. Roast 30-35 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking. When they are finished, it should be easy to prick them with a fork. There will be juices from the strawberries in the pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a food processor or blender, blend strawberries and strawberry juices with remaining 1.5 teaspoons white balsamic, whole grain mustard, honey, salt and black pepper to taste.

Toss 3/4 of the bread cubes, radishes, arugula and remaining strawberries in a bowl. Display the beautiful panzanella in shallow serving bowls, if possible, but any bowl or plate with a rim will do. Scatter the remaining 1/4 bread cubes, sliced radishes and burrata balls on top, spacing them out nicely. Garnish with a few basil leaves, a few strawberries and a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.


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