Watermelon and tomato panzanella

This watermelon spin on a panzanella is perfect for summer entertaining

Image for Watermelon and tomato panzanella

Summer is just around the corner now (finally), so it's time to reacquaint ourselves with the quintessential summer fruit, watermelon. Though we love it by the slice, there are plenty of ways to use it around the dinner table other than simply as a refreshing snack.

This unique, but easy spin on a classic Italian salad is as gorgeous as it is tasty. Cool cubes of watermelon with bright blueberries add freshness and sweetness to the mixture of crunchy croutons, fresh tomatoes, feta and herbs.

Panzanella

1 small ciabatta loaf, cut into 1/2" cubes
olive oil, enough for drizzling
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 cups cubed watermelon
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 recipe balsamic reduction, see below

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

Arrange the bread cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Set aside to cool.

While the bread bakes, combine watermelon, tomatoes, basil, mint and feta in a large bowl. Let sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Before serving, toss the bread and blueberries with the watermelon mixture in a large bowl. Then, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and toss to combine.

Check seasonings and adjust, if needed.

Serve cold.

Balsamic reduction

1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine balsamic and honey in a small saucepan over medium low heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a small glass bowl, and let cool completely.

 

Yield:
Serves 4
Prep Time:
10 minutes