Beet and Rye Panzanella Salad – a Recipe with a Dash of Tradition
I love a good traditional Panzanella Salad and will order it every time at my favorite Italian restaurants. But, when I saw the picture of this recipe in the February 2016 edition of bon appétit for Beet and Rye Panzanella created by Claire Saffitz, I was blown away by the colors of the dish. We all eat with our eyes and I absolutely had to see how this gorgeous salad was made-the photograph was that beautiful. After seeing how truly simple this salad is I’m going to use it for my next get-together and make a perfect food memory from a perfect salad! Serves 4.
- 1½ pounds small beets, any color, scrubbed (about 10)
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt
- ½ loaf rye bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large orange
- 4 ounces ricotta salata (salted dried ricotta), crumbled
- 1 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, tarragon, and mint)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place beets in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and add water to come ½” up sides. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake beets until tender and a cake tester or paring knife easily slides through flesh, 45–60 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, toss onion, 3 Tbsp. vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to combine; set aside.
- Toss torn bread and 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet to coat; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing once, until bread is golden brown and crisp around edges, 8–10 minutes; set aside.
- Rub beets with paper towels to remove skins, then halve (or quarter if large) and place in a large bowl; add onion with liquid.
- Using a small sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from orange. Working over bowl with beets, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes to release juices; discard. Add reserved toasted bread and 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine. Let sit a few minutes for flavors to meld.
- Just before serving, fold in ricotta salata and herbs, drizzle with more oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.