Panzanella (Bread Salad) with Summer Vegetables
Trim stem end of beans and cut into 2-inch pieces. In a large saucepan cook beans in lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl of ice water. When chilled, drain and set aside.Advertisement
Brush bread slices with 1 tablespoon oil. Toast on a grill or under the broiler until lightly browned, turning once. Cool slightly, then tear bread into 1-inch pieces.
In a large serving bowl combine beans, bread, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers, red onion, olives and basil.
For dressing: In a small screw-top jar combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover and shake well to combine. Pour half of the dressing over tomato mixture; toss gently. Pour remaining dressing over tomato mixture. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, toss again. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, if you like.
Bring a large pan of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and make a small shallow "x" in the other end. When water comes to boil, add the tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 seconds until skin begins to loosen at the cuts. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute or until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and discard.