Tomato and Halloumi Panzanella Salad
- 1 loaf crusty bread (ciabatta or another Italian bread works nice), cut into 2 centimetre cubes
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 cucumber, cut into wedges
- 1 bunch of basil
- 200 grams halloumi cheese, approximately 1 package
- A few handfuls of arugula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup basil, loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Bread knife
- Chef’s knife
- Food processor or blender
- Large frying pan
- BBQ, or grill pan
- Bowls of various sizes
- Baking sheet
- Wooden spoon
- Tasting spoons
- Dish towel
This recipe is brought to you by Growing Chefs Ontario!
- Gather your mise en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.
- Cut the bread into slices with a bread knife about 2 centimeters thick, and break down into cubes about 2 centimeters each.
- Cut the onion in half from root to tip, and remove the skin of the onion. Cut off the root and the tip of the onion, and slice the onion lengthwise, from root to tip very thinly.
- Remove the stem from the tomatoes and cut them in half through the core. Cut them into small wedges lengthwise.
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, and then cut it into small wedges.
- Remove the leaves from the stem of the basil and discard the stem.
- Cut the halloumi cheese into slices about ½ centimeter thick.
- Toss the bread pieces in a large bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil, and season with pepper and salt.
- Toss the halloumi cheese in a separate bowl with the other tablespoon of olive oil, and season with pepper and salt.
- Remove basil leaves from the stem of the basil, and place measure out 1 cup of leaves loosely packed.
- Using a rasp, finely mince the garlic. Alternatively, you can chop the garlic very finely with a chef’s knife.
- Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze as much juice as possible, straining out the lemon seeds and discarding them along with the rest of the lemon.
- Measure out red wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey.
- Heat your large frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the cubed bread to the pan, working in batches to toast it. The bread should be golden and crispy on the outside but not burnt. Set aside to cool on a baking sheet.
- Combine your tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, arugula, and basil leaves with the toasted bread in a large bowl.
- To make your dressing, combine 1 cup of basil with minced garlic, honey, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper. Add the oil on a slow stream to emulsify into the dressing.
- Heat your bbq or grill pan, and cook the halloumi cheese 2-3 minutes on each side. The cheese should be crispy and browning, and just starting to melt but still holding its shape.
- Add the grilled halloumi to the bowl of other salad ingredients, and toss together with dressing to taste. Serve on a large platter with additional dressing on the side. This salad is best served when the halloumi is just freshly grilled and still warm.