Panzanella Salad with Ciliegine Mozzarella and Truffle Dressing
The Driftless Cafe elevates the classic panzanella—also known as “bread salad”—with the addition of artisanal ingredients. Farmstead mozzarella, made in the cafe’s home state of Wisconsin, fresh herbs and truffle oil take the recipe up a few notches and make it fit for any season.
1½ cups olive oil
8 oz. crusty bread, cut into cubes
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
5 heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
½ red onion, cut into thin batons
8 oz. farmstead ciliegine mozzarella cheese
2 oz. fresh basil leaves
1 oz. fresh mint leaves
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. truffle oil
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1. For salad: In large, deep saucepan, heat olive oil to 350 F. Add bread cubes; fry until golden brown. Remove bread from oil; place in stainless steel bowl. Season croutons with salt and pepper.
2. in large salad bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, cheese, basil and mint; toss to mix. Top with croutons.
3. For dressing: In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, truffle oil and salt; pour over salad. Toss ingredients to combine. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before servings.
Photograph courtesy of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese