Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4-6 as a main course

2 large garlic cloves, finely grated on a microplane

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 ficelle or half of a small baguette (about 5 ounces) cut into small pieces

3/4 pound cherry tomatoes

1 pound green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

3 Tablespoons capers

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 pound (8-ounces) bocconcini or fresh mozzarella, lightly salted and cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425° F. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, oil, and a pinch of salt.  Place bread cubes in a medium bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil, tossing to combine.  Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toast in the oven stirring once or twice until golden, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven; leave oven on. 

In a small bowl, gently toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the garlic oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.  Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a small baking sheet.  Toss green beans in the same bowl with another tablespoon of the garlic oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.  Arrange the beans in a single layer on another baking sheet.  Roast vegetables until the tomatoes are tender and starting to blister and the green beans are tender and lightly browned in spots, about 8 minutes for the tomatoes and 10-12 minutes for the green beans.  Cool vegetables on the pans until ready to assemble salad.

Meanwhile, add the vinegar, capers, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to the remaining garlic oil, whisking until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

Transfer green beans, tomatoes and any pan juices, toasted bread, cannellini beans, mozzarella, and basil into a large serving bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss to combine well.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to develop; stir again just before serving.  Enjoy!

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