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Bacon Basil Panzanella

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Delicious bread salad with vinaigrette made from the juices of the tomatoes and crunchy bacon just to show off.


  • 5 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 baguette, cut into cubes (about 6 cups cubed bread)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped
  • 2 sprigs basil - about 1/2 cup leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat, reserved from cooking the bacon


  1. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and allow to wilt and release their juices for about 30 minutes while you make the rest of the salad.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toasted but not overly hard.
  3. When the tomatoes have wilted, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, remaining sugar, shallot, and bacon fat with 1/4 cup of the juices from the tomatoes. If you have slightly less don't worry, the dressing will still be delicious. Taste the dressing and add more salt to your preference.
  4. 20 minutes before serving, combine the bread cubes, tomatoes, bacon, and basil leaves with about half of the dressing. Toss to coat, and let the salad sit to soften the bread slightly.
  5. Serve with extra dressing for drizzling and greens on the side, if you'd like. Enjoy!