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Playing How To Make Challah Panzanella | Jake Cohen

Jew-ish: A Cookbook author Jake Cohen uses day-old challah for his version of panzanella—an Italian-style salad that revives stale bread using tomato + onions. 

Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch

Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch

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"In yet another effort to use up day-old Shabbos challah, this panzanella salad was born, marrying all the sunny flavors of the warmer months with my love for eating lots of bread and calling it 'salad.' Toasted challah cubes become sponges for the bright juices of tomatoes tossed with balsamic-marinated onions, cukes, and fresh oregano. Naturally, I throw in a pound of mozzarella just for the hell of it, giving the people what they want, wrapped up in all those summer caprese vibes.  

For peak enjoyment, toss the salad right before serving, since you want the outside of the croutons soft and saturated in the dressing while keeping the centers crisp. Feel free to make the marinated onions a day ahead, but that's about all the advance prep I'd recommend without compromising the integrity of this summer superstar." –Jake 

Adapted from Jew-Ish: A Cookbook by Jake Cohen. Copyright © 2021 by Jake Cohen. Used with permission by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. 

Ingredients

  • One 16-ounce loaf challah bread, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers (6 medium), halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

Yield

Serves: 6 to 8

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  

Spread the challah pieces in an even layer over a half-sheet pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.  

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and onion to combine. Season with a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper, then let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to marinate.  

Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella, and basil to the bowl with the marinated onion and toss to coat. Gently fold in the challah croutons. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve.