To Toss / A Cantaloupe Panzanella

 
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     Hi there! I hope your summer is going amazing so far! We're almost smack in the middle of the season, and it's weirdly cooler most days now than it was before it was even technically summer. LOL. We're soaking it up while we can though, spending days outside, grilling up a storm, and enjoying all of the refreshing produce! My farmers market pick of this week? Cantaloupe! I used to despise it, but have found it doesn't merit that opinion when paired with fresh herbs. I took that idea and applied it to a new favorite summery Italian salad: panzanella! 

    Panzanella is traditionally a bread and tomato laden salad, originating from Tuscany. Any salad that includes chunks of bread needs little improvement, but I couldn't resist tossing in cucumbers and sharp white cheddar along with the aforementioned cantaloupe and fresh herbs (basil, in this case)! Dressed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this salad will surely put a smile on your face - especially if you're in more sweltering conditions than we're experiencing. Get the recipe below! 

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Ingredients (salad):

- 1 cup of cubed ripe cantaloupe

- 1 heaping cup of cubed bread (I used a baguette)

- half a ripe tomato, cubed

- 6 or so slices of cucumber

- 1/4 of an onion, sliced

- sharp white cheddar (parmesan would also be amazing!)

- a few basil leaves

Ingredients (vinaigrette):

- 1/4 cup of olive oil

- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

- a pinch each of salt and pepper

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Directions:

1. Toast your bread cubes until crispy and slightly charred. While bread is toasting, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and s+p.

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2. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cantaloupe. Toss with your vinaigrette.

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3. Top with fresh cheese and torn basil leaves. 

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4. Toss once more, and serve cold with an iced coffee (or a light pinot gris if you're in the Italian mindset!). Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!