A Taste of Tuscany for Gardners with Too Many Tomatoes (and anyone else)

It is a real life episode of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” – eat them before they eat you! It happens every year. You wait all summer for your tomato plants to produce fruits; then, they are all ripe at the same time. Rather than simmer the fruits of your labor into a sauce, try pairing them with all natural, Vermont-made Olivia’s Croutons for a refreshing panzanella salad.

Originating in Tuscany, panzanella is a bread salad most often enjoyed during the summer months. At its core, it consists of sliced bread and fresh tomatoes mixed with oil and vinegar, but numerous ingredients can be added for a unique taste. Olivia’s Croutons retain their texture and crunchiness while covered in oil and vinegar, plus you can choose from five varieties of flavors: Organic Garlic and Herb, Butter and Garlic, Parmesan Pepper, Vermont Cheddar and Dill, and Multi Grain with Garlic. Each variety brings a flavorful twist to this classic summertime dish. Just like your homegrown tomatoes, Olivia’s Croutons are all natural and made on the farm, not in the factory.

Olivia’s Panzanella Salad with Butter & Garlic Croutons

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 box or 2 cups Olivia’s Butter & Garlic Croutons, (or your flavor choice) slightly crushed
  • 2 cups ripe tomato, in chunks with the seeds removed (or try cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup cucumber, in chunks with the seeds removed
  • ¼ cup capers, or substitute sliced Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, slightly chopped

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste

Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl, and then add the vegetables and toss. After adding Olivia’s Croutons, let the salad stand for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, before serving!

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