If there’s a savory dish that defines summer, it’s panzanella. The Tuscan salad of crusty country bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion was originally devised to stretch stale bread into a meal. As time has gone by, the item has long since shed its humble roots and become more decorated.

Take Duo Restaurant‘s refreshing riff: Rather than soaking day-old bread in vinaigrette to soften it, executive chef Tyler Skrivanek serves the appetizer tartine-style, or open-faced. Grilled flax bread forms the base for a cucumber salad emboldened with pieces of creamy burrata and few select tomatoes. Skrivanek tinkers with the flavor profile by dressing the salad with a mint and black olive vinaigrette. As Colorado’s tomato season is slow to come, this must-order salad is the perfect way to bridge the gap.

Tip: Because the bread isn’t marinated until soft, you’ll need a steak knife to cut through the crust.

Make it: My favorite recipe for panzanella comes from Tartine Bread, San Francisco chef Chad Robertson‘s terrific ode to bread and bread-related dishes.

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.