Panzanella with grilled chicken
FOR THE CHICKEN:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
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Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE SALAD:
1 loaf rustic bread, day old, crusts removed and cubed
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Makes 10-12 servings.
To make chicken: In medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.
Grill chicken over a hot fire for about 8 minutes per side or until opaque. Cut the chicken into slices on the diagonal and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: Using the blade of a chef's knife, create a paste out of the salt and smashed garlic cloves. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars, garlic paste and extra-virgin olive oil. Adjust for salt and pepper. Set aside.
To assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, fennel, basil and rosemary. Mix well. Add the cheese and remaining vinaigrette, then let stand for 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Add the chicken and toss. Season to taste and serve.
FOR THE SOUP:
2 cups cubed day-old bread, crusts removed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch ground cumin
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 large Italian frying pepper (also called Gypsy pepper), seeded and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 cup V8 vegetable juice
FOR THE GARNISH:
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into small dice
1 red tomato, small dice
1 half red onion, small dice
1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled
and cut into small dice
1/2 cup minced Italian parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
Makes 8 servings.
To make gazpacho: Place the bread in a medium bowl, add cold water to cover and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the bread and squeeze out excess liquid.
Using the salt and the edge of your knife, work garlic into a paste. In a large bowl, mix the garlic paste, cumin, sun-dried tomato paste, tomatoes, cucumbers, both types of peppers, onion and bread. Toss to mix. Let stand 15 minutes.
Working in two batches, place the vegetable mixture in a food processor and process until smooth, adding 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil to each batch. Once each batch is pureed, transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl and add vinegar and V8 juice. Adjust seasonings. Refrigerate until icy cold, at least 2 hours.
To make the garnish and finish the dish: Combine all garnish ingredients in a bowl. Pour gazpacho into iced glass bowls or stemmed glasses. Spoon garnish on top of each serving. Serve immediately.