I love Panzanella in the summer. I'm not certain, but I think that the name either comes from the Italian word pane (bread) or panzo (belly/stomach). This simple bread salad is very refreshing during hot days, and is one of those dishes that gets even better if you make it in advance.
This dish uses up stale bread nicely as well.
For two servings:
1/2 loaf of stale crusty bread (no wonderbread, yo.)
1/2 a cucumber, chopped
1-2 med. tomatoes, chopped, with juices (or 1/2 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes halved).
A thin slice of onion, chopped finely
One clove of garlic chopped finely
1/4 block of tofu, cubed (optional)
a few torn leaves of basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil/wine vinegar total (in whatever proportion you like)
s & p to taste.
Roughly tear the bread into chunks. If it's very very stale, soak it in water for a minute, then squeeze most of the water out gently and put it into a med. bowl
add vegetables and tofu and basil to the bowl
pour dressing over, tossing well (pressing down if necessary to get the bread to absorb all the juices)
add salt and pepper to taste
allow the salad to sit, refrigerated, for at least 30 min before serving. This is great after it has chilled overnight as well.
Enjoy the shit out of this mofo.