This quick main-course Italian bread salad makes the most of ripe summer tomatoes. Toasted cubes of stale, crusty loaf absorb the tomatoes’ juices without disintegrating. If you prefer, serve the panzanella with slices of fresh mozzarella instead of ricotta.
1/2 pound day-old crusty bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces (5 cups)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread bread in a single layer and bake until dry and light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, and oil and season with salt and pepper. Add toasted bread and basil and toss to combine. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up liquid. Divide salad evenly among four bowls and top each with some ricotta, a drizzle of oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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