Panzanella is a favorite spring/summer dish for me. I decided to take the traditional, mix it with a recipe I found online and produce my own creation.
If you have access to a good, firm, whole-grain sourdough bread by all means use it. It will give a hearty texture and slight nutty flavor, plus sourdough just rocks. However if this isn't an option, and crusty bread will work.
Swiss Chard Panzanella
1/2 loaf bread (about 4 cups when cubed - whole grain sourdough or other crusty bread)
4 cloves garlic
2 bunches baby swiss chard
1 pt pear tomatoes, cut in half (heirloom if you can find them!)
2 T good quality olive oil
1-2 T balsamic vinegar (depending on taste*)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the bread. Toast in the oven until light crisp, about 15 minutes. Cut the garlic cloves in half. Cool slightly. Rub cut cloves of garlic over both sides of the bread then cube. Set aside in a large bowl.
Rinse and dry the chard. Rough chop then toss with a touch of olive oil in your hands. Lay the chard on a foil-lined pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until lightly crisp. Remove and let cool. Toss the tomatoes and chard with the bread.
Whisk olive oil and vinegar. Toss in the large bowl with the bread, tomatoes and chard. Add salt and pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve at room temperature.
*More vinegar will add a sweet and sour sensation. Start with 1T then add more if your family is sensitive.