Tomato and Bread Salad with Sweet Italian Sausage

This salad is a variation on the classic panzanella but is made heartier with the addition of grilled sweet Italian sausages and corn.

Served as a main course, it’s perfect during the hot summer months when tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness and you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen.


6 – 8 large heirloom tomatoes, very ripe, cut into wedges

1 loaf of crusty, artisan-style bread such as a pain au levain or ciabatta, whole

6 ears of grilled corn, kernels removed

4 Niman Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage links, grilled, then sliced into disks

15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn

1/2 cup olive oil

¼ cup champagne or red wine vinegar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat up your grill to medium heat, about 375 ºF.
  2. Grill corn and sausages until slightly brown. Cool slightly, then remove kernels from each cob with a sharp knife and slice the sausage into disks.
  3. Cut any thick, crusty areas off the sides of the whole loaf of bread, then brush the outside with olive oil. Grill until there are grill marks and some browned bits on the edge of the bread. Tear into chunks.
  4. Cut tomatoes in half, then into wedges. You should get 6 or 8 per tomato. Set aside.
  5. Tear basil leaves into pieces.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and dress lightly with olive oil and vinegar to taste (you may not use all of the oil or vinegar, or you may need a little more, depending on the size of your salad).
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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