I’ve seen Panzanella (bread salads) made on several cooking shows on TV and wondered how they tasted. I had the opportunity to try making this salad, using Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s recipe, recently while camping.

I was trying to think of a recipe I could make as a side dish without going to the grocery store. We didn’t have a lot of ingredients on hand in  the camper, but with the garden producing like crazy, we did have a nice assortment of veggies. In true “real food” fashion, I substituted whole wheat bread for the French bread. I also used dried basil and left out the capers, only because I didn’t have any. I think they would be great in the salad.

Turns out, this is a very good salad and meets up to its reputation. It’s also a great way to serve tomatoes and cucumbers in a different way.  I think the only thing to keep in mind is that it really needs to be eaten pretty much right away. I had some leftover and the bread was downright awful — very soggy — when I tried to eat the next day.