Tomatoes are Finally Ripening

by | Sep 1, 2010 | Side Dishes, Vegetable Recipes

After the strangest California summer I can remember, our tomatoes are finally ripening, in September?! The three hot days that finally came (and went) ripened a variety of our tomatoes, at least enough for my favorite tomato panzanella salad. I caught it while watching the Food Network, with Giada De Laurentiis. My favorite part of the panzanella is the grilled whole wheat croutons, I make them all the time, and add a ton of fresh garlic. I keep them in a ziplock bag and they last for a month or so. I buy a large fresh loaf of whole wheat French bread from our Safeway bakery, and chop it up into cubes and grill.

Our family of wild turkeys also liked the whole wheat croutons!

Here is the entire recipe to enjoy while tomatoes are still rolling in.

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella


  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups whole-wheat bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large, red tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread and artichoke hearts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread and artichokes until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread and artichokes from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl stir together the 2/3 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.