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Panzanella recipe

With inspiration from David Lebovitz & Earth to table.

For 10:
One 1-pound loaf of crusty bread (I used Madison Sourdough)
3 large cloves of garlic, as fresh as you can get them, minced or pressed
2 tsp. Dijon or other prepared mustard
a good pinch of sugar
another one of coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
9 TBLS red wine vinegar
1 cup good olive oil
5 pounds of tomatoes – mixed – I used one rugged rain-beaten heirloom, 2 pink ones, 2 beefsteak, and 2 small yellow ones
2 small or one large cucumber, seeded and sliced into C’s
half a large red or sweet white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
a couple of good handfuls of herbs, chopped or torn as appropriate – I used argula, torn into bite size pieces, and Thai basil, juliened
8 oz. feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Tear the bread into coarse chunks, crouton size, into a bowl large enough for tossing, drizzle with 1 – 2 TBLS of the olive oil, and toss. Turn the oiled bread out onto a sheet pan, and toast in the oven until golden. Let cool.

Mix the garlic, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil in an even larger bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half, and squeeze out some of the juice and seeds, and cut them into chunks. Add them to the bowl with the bread, cucumbers, and onion, and toss well. Add the herbs and toss again. Right before serving, which should be in an hour or two,top the salad with the feta, crumbled into biggish pieces.

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