Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad

Source: Paul Burzlaff, 31st Union

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 12, 2017.

Makes 4 servings


Oven Dried Tomatoes
½ pound cherry tomatoes
1 bunch thyme
¼ cup olive oil

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 quart heavy cream
½ gallon whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
⅓ cup white wine vinegar

Cucumber Vinegarette
½ cucumber
1 small shallot
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of parsley
½ bunch of basil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

Toasted Focaccia Croutons
1 loaf day old focaccia
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 Fresno chilies
½ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

2 ears sweet corn
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 pound heirloom tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh mint and basil for garnish (optional)


To make the oven dried tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Toss tomatoes with thyme, oil, and a pinch of salt. Spread on a parchment-lined sheet pan and cook for 1 hour, or until tomatoes have released most of their juices.

To make the ricotta cheese: Pour cream, milk, and salt in a large pot cook over high heat. Just as cream and milk mixture is about to boil, turn off the heat and whisk in vinegar. Set aside for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the whey (liquid), or save for another use.

To make the cucumber vinaigrette: Combine cucumber, shallots, dill, parsley, basil, champagne vinegar, and salt in a blender. Starting on the lowest setting, gradually turn up to the highest. While blender is running, slowly add the olive oil.

To make the focaccia croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Tear the bread into 1 inch chunks. Toss in a bowl with oil, salt, and pepper. Lay out in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely.

Slice chilies into ⅛ inch rings, and place in a bowl. In a small pot, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, pour the hot liquid over the chilies, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before use.

Cut corn off the cob, and sauté with olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.

Slice heirloom tomatoes ½ inch thick. Arrange slices on a large platter and season with salt and pepper. Add dollops of ricotta around and on the tomatoes. Sprinkle the oven dried tomatoes, chilies, and corn around the platter. Top with croutons. Drizzle cucumber vinaigrette over the salad. Garnish with fresh mint and basil.

Bonus Recipe: Focaccia

Makes 1 loaf


10 grams dry active yeast
1 ⅔ cup warm water
80 grams honey
680 grams all-purpose flour
70 grams semolina flour
10 grams salt
½ cup olive oil (reserve ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stemmed


Using a mixer with dough hook attachment, add yeast, water, and honey. Let mixture stand for ten minutes. Add all-purpose flour, semolina flour, salt, and ¼ cup of olive oil, and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes. Place dough in oil-lined bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Proof overnight in refrigerator.

The next day, roll out focaccia to fit a ½ sheet ray. Dock the dough with your fingers all over, so the dough doesn’t form large bubbles. Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary, and salt. Proof at room temperature for 1½ hours. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool completely before using.

Farmers Market Ingredients