I have been having a craving for Panzanella, but all the recipes I cam across used tomatoes and basil when those aren't quite in season anymore and I was craving arugula. I found a way too complicated recipe by Michael Chiarello, then dumbed it down so normal people can make it on a week night. I vastly cut down the ingredients and the prep.
This was so delicious I am definitely making it again. I also only had half a loaf of french bread so I halved it.
For the bread:
Loaf of french bread
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Leave your bread out unwrapped overnight. Cut it into cubes. I used his suggestion and cut the slices with a serrated knife, then used a paring knife to chop the slices into cubes. Do not slice your bread too thin! Melt your butter in a sautee pan until it starts to bubble a little, remove from heat and toss in the butter. Toss with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 until slightly brown on the outside, 10-15 minutes.
For the salad:
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb mushrooms. I used baby bellos
2 tbs minced garlic
1 cup arugula
Sautee mushrooms in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms with the bread and arugula. Add salt and pepper to taste. Rather than making the dressing suggested, I tossed it in 1/4 cup olive oil and 4 tbs red wine vinegar. Then I sprinkled some parmesan on top.
Note: If you cannot find arugula it is sometimes called rocket. You could also substitute raw baby spinach.