The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Bacon Basil Panzanella

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Level: Easy

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Description

The perfect end-of-summer way to soak up the rest of the tomato goodness that waits. Plus: bacon.

Ingredients

  • 5 whole Medium-sized Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar, Divided
  • ½ whole Baguette, Cut Into Cubes (about 6 Cups Cubed Bread)
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 whole Shallot, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Fat, Reserved From Cooking The Bacon
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cooked And Crumbled Or Chopped
  • 2 sprigs Basil, About 1/2 Cup Leaves, Torn

Preparation

Dice tomatoes and place in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle 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.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. Bake for 30–40 minutes until toasted but not overly hard.

When tomatoes have wilted, whisk remaining 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.

Twenty minutes before serving, combine 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.

Serve with extra dressing for drizzling and greens on the side, if you’d like. Enjoy!

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