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In many cultures where food traditions were formed amid great poverty, there is much ingenuity in the use of stale bread. Panzanella, a Tuscan salad of stale bread soaked in water, squeezed dry and tossed with a varied mix of ingredients, was created in this spirit. This version, which includes shrimp, would be at home on the menu of any contemporary American pizzeria.
- 4 tomatoes, cut into small dice
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
- 2 bell peppers, any color, seeded, deribbed and cut into small dice
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus olive oil for drizzling on bread
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Olive oil for brushing
- 3 thick slices country-style bread
- 1 clove garlic
- Lemon wedges
In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, shallot, capers, oregano and parsley. Add the 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and the vinegar, toss to mix and set aside for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a ridged stovetop griddle until it is very hot.
Lightly brush the shrimp with olive oil. Place the shrimp on the grill rack 7-8 inches above the fire or on the griddle and cook, turning once, until pink and cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Remove the shrimp from the grill or griddle and toss into the bowl with the prepared vegetables.
Place the bread slices on the grill rack or griddle and grill, turning once, until grill marks are apparent on both sides and the bread is toasted, 3-4 minutes total. Remove the bread from the grill or griddle and quickly rub one side of each slice with the garlic clove. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the bread.
Let the bread cool, then tear into 2-inch pieces. Add to the shrimp and vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to mix well.
Divide evenly among individual plates and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
207 calories; 12g total fat; 43mg cholesterol; 253mg sodium; 19g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 9g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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