Chef Hubert Seifert has deep respect for the tomato.

Chef Hubert Seifert has deep respect for the tomato. When it's in season, the chef-owner of Spagio says all you really need is a tablespoon of avocado oil or a drizzle of the right vinegar. "When you start off with a great product, there's really not much you have to add to it," Seifert says. He's been paying homage to the summer fruit for a decade through Spagio's annual Tomato Fest-a limited-time, local tomato-starring menu available this year Aug. 9–28. This panzanella salad, inspired by a version he had in Spain, will be one of the many featured dishes. Seifert opts to leave bread slices whole, topping with a tomato salad right before serving. "When you do that, the dressing seeps through and starts to soak into the bread," he says. "Then you get all these flavors."

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad ?with Seared Scallops

Servings: 8


16 small slices ciabatta bread Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded, to taste Extra virgin olive oil (roughly 3/4 cup) 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into small wedges 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula 12 fresh basil leaves, torn 1 red onion, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 1/2 tablespoon local honey 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 16 jumbo scallops 1 lemon, juiced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, ?to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush both sides of the bread generously with olive oil. Place bread on baking sheets and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven until the bread is golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, arugula, basil and onion. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey and garlic, whisking vigorously to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine the salad.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Dry scallops with paper towel, and then season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sear the scallops in the hot pan for 20 to 30 seconds per side. Remove the pan from heat and add freshly squeezed lemon juice.

To plate the dish, put two slices of ciabatta on the plate and top with a generous helping of the tossed salad. Place two scallops on each plate. Finish each dish with a sprinkling of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.