This salad combines the humble bagel with delicious pastrami to create a unique spin on panzanella, Italian bread salad. These salads do not hold over well, and are best served immediately after making as the dried bread tends to get soggy.
1 package everything bagels
1/2 red onion, medium sliced
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 pound tomatoes, diced
3 red bell pepper, diced
3 cucumber, sliced into coins
1 cup basil leaves, rough chopped
3 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
1.5 lbs. sliced pastrami, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bagels into chunks and place into a bowl, toss with olive oil to coat – roughly 1/3 c. and put onto a baking sheet, then into the oven. Toast bagels cubes in oven until brown, roughly 20-30 minutes – tossing them once or twice during the process – set aside to cool.
Whisk the garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vingar and Dijon mustard to create the dressing until combined, then add sliced onions to bowl – set side.
In a large bowl combine tomatoes, bagel croutons, bell pepper, cucumber and basil, toss gently to combine – then pour dressing over mixture and toss again.
Serve at once, or refrigerate until needed (up to 2 hours).