Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

I love this hearty salad. No lettuce involved, just packed with wonderful Mediterranean flavor! Hope you enjoy!

1/2 a loaf of artisan style baguette (we like garlic bread too!)
2 medium vine ripened tomatoes, seeded
1 small European cucumber
1/2 a medium sweet onion
3/4 cup (3oz) fresh Mozzarella
3/4 cup (3oz) Fontina cheese
*Cut all of the above into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed – julienned

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette -or- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar, 2 T capers, 2 small garlic cloves, minced, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Place bread cubes on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly dry and just turning golden brown. Remove and cool.

While bread is cooling, prepare vegetables, basil, and cheeses; place in a large salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients if necessary. Toss vegetables and cheese with bread. Pour dressing over top and toss until evenly coated.  – Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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