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Grilled Panzanella

Grilled PanzanellaFor a summery appetizer, nothing's more perfect than using fresh, seasonal produce and firing up the grill to make it. This delicious appetizer incorporates traditional ingredients of the classic Italian summer tomato and bread salad. Try it as a light entrée, too.

Recipe Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil - divided use
6 tablespoons BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 loaf (1 pound) rustic Italian, whole-wheat or French bread (10 to 12-inches long), sliced into 1-inch pieces, cut in half
2 large bell peppers, any color, quartered
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Vinaigrette: Whisk together 1/4 cup oil, pesto, vinegar and garlic in small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  2. For Panzanella: Gently toss tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer to colander and set over bowl or in sink; set aside to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally (this will allow water to drain out).
  3. Heat grill to medium-high. Brush bread pieces on both sides with some remaining oil (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons); sprinkle with a little salt. Grill for about 30 seconds on each side or until nicely browned. Set aside.
  4. Brush peppers and zucchini with a little remaining oil (about 1 tablespoon will be needed); grill on each side for about 4 minutes. Cool; cut into bite-size pieces.
  5. Add tomatoes, cucumber, shallot and basil to large bowl. Add grilled vegetables and vinaigrette; toss to coat.
  6. For appetizers, spoon a few tablespoons vegetable mixture over each bread slice and serve bruschetta-style.
  7. For a light entrée, serve two bread slices with about 1 cup of the vegetable mixture. Garnish with additional shredded basil, if desired.

Makes 20 appetizers or 4 to 6 light entrée servings.

Recipe and photograph are the property of Nestlé® &, used with permission.