This Panzanella Salad is inspired by wonderful summer vegetables. Now I know the calendar hasn't quite reached summer months, but Mother Nature doesn't seem to be aware, as we have yet another summer-like day in mid-April. Take advantage of the warm weather and the abundance of produce that's hitting the shelves. This salad is just the thing for some early al fresco dining and is hearty enough to call it dinner.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups arugula
4 cups cubed whole grain bread, lightly toasted (or left out to harden a bit)
1 large ripe tomatoes, diced
2 cups sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted kalmata olives, halved
2 cup chick peas
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
For Dressing: Combine all ingredients and set aside.
For salad: Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Just before serving, toss with dressing.