On several occasions, I’ve roasted broccoli until it’s smoky-sweet; but why, oh why have I never roasted cherry tomatoes? They emerge from the oven, split open from the juices that carmelize them into sweet-savory flavor bombs. Had I known this, I would have doubled the batch of tomatoes; as it was, there were barely had enough to make this Roasted Broccoli Panzanella salad. The kids and I kept popping the tomatoes into our mouths.
I had a craving for panzanella salad and for roasted broccoli at the same time. I knew I needed tomatoes for color and for juicy sauciness to soften the crisp bread cubes. For ease of preparation, I thought I’d just throw the tomatoes in while roasting the broccoli. (While searching for recipes to assure the tomatoes wouldn’t explode if roasted at the same temperature as the broccoli, I found this recipe which coats them with [a lot] of honey before roasting.) Since lovely oregano is currently the only green thing that has emerged from garden (besides chives and green garlic) – it adds a welcome fresh flavor.
Roasted Broccoli Panzanella salad stands up to being dressed ahead of time (without wilting,) so it’s perfect for a picnic. Fill the picnic basket with some lovely Vermont or Wisconsin cheeses, maybe some cold cuts and olives, and don’t forget dessert.