People often use the word “soggy” to describe something that’s wet in a bad way, but here the bread absorbs the juice from the tomatoes and gets deliciously, wonderfully soggy! This is a classic Italian dish (often called panzanella) that’s a great way to use up ripe tomatoes and day-old bread. If you like, you can also add any color bell peppers, cucumber, arugula, mint, black olives, sundried tomatoes, or goat, feta, or mozzarella cheese.
Sharp knife (adult needed)
- 3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced, or 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup chopped red onion or scallions
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or vinegar (any kind is fine)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced or put through a garlic press
- 3 cups toasted or grilled day-old whole-wheat bread, cut into 1-inch squares
Put the tomatoes, basil or parsley, red onion or scallions, salt, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and garlic in the bowl and mix well.
Add the bread and mix again. Taste the salad, and add more lemon or vinegar, herbs, or salt if you think it needs it.
Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.
Botanically speaking, tomatoes are a fruit; technically speaking, they’re a berry; and legally speaking — according to an 1893 Supreme Court ruling about how to classify them — they’re a vegetable.