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Pepato Cheese Panzanella

No recipe image available.Panzanella, the classic Italian bread salad is at its best when fresh-from-the-garden, ripe tomatoes are used. This terrific version features pepato, a hard cheese similar to Romano, that is studded with coarse ground black peppercorns.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup bread cubes (1 inch square)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
Olive oil, to taste
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch chili flakes
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup (1 ounce) Wisconsin Pepato cheese
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup red onion, julienne thinly
2 tablespoons green olives, pitted and cut in half
2 tablespoons black olives

Cooking Directions:

  1. Make croutons a day ahead by cutting good quality bread into 1 inch cubes. Leave uncovered overnight to become very hard. For preparation toss with olive oil, herbs to taste, garlic and salt and pepper. Bake, to crispen and roast garlic. Cool completely
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Reserve chilled.
  3. To assemble salad: Divide ingredients between two plates, top with croutons and drizzle with dressing.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.