The best simple panzanella salad with lots of fresh veggies and a delicious balsamic dressing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust the rack to center position. If using a baguette, cut into 1-inch slices and then tear those slices into 4-6 pieces. Place on a large sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, for the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste; (I add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper) you can always add more salt and pepper to the salad overall. Place dressing in a mason jar in the fridge to chill while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Shake the dressing well right before pouring over the salad.
In a large bowl, mix the halved cherry tomatoes, quartered cocktail tomatoes, halved or quartered mozzarella balls, the raw corn from the cob (we love it raw and crunchy, but it's also delicious cooked on the grill!), and ripped pieces of lettuce if desired. Add the completely cooled bread and the dressing to taste (you don't need to use all of it, add to preference) Toss the salad and let rest for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the bread absorbs the dressing.
Right before serving, add the sliced or chopped avocado, basil leaves, and any additional dressing. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon if desired.