Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Panzanella Salad With A Twist

on November 3, 2014

2014-10-26 17.58.40

Having my daughter visit recently, I needed to make a “meat free” meal for her. Now, in our house, Steve loves “meat free” meals once and a while however; for a main coarse he prefers to have some type of protein. I’m thinking what better way to do this than with a Panzanella salad and make everyone happy. This traditional Italian salad is basically a tomato and bread salad with a few other ingredients. Here though, I’m going to put a spin on tradition.
Directions:
In a large bowl,  take one English, seedless cucumber, seeded with a spoon, and cut into half moons. Take the half moons and cut them in half. Slice 1/2 a red onion into thinly sliced half moons. Next, dice up 1 yellow bell pepper into a large dice. A pint each of the yellow and red grape tomatoes halved, and toss them into the bowl as well. Add all these ingredients to the bowl. Take a quarter cup of pitted Kalamata olives and chop them up and add them in with the other ingredients.

In a separate bowl I diced up 3/4 of a pound of Genoa salami that I bought from the deli. I had them slice it in one large piece, making it easier to dice.  Steve has the option then to add this right to his salad and not interfering with the integrity of the traditional Panzanella salad.

Next, is the dressing, and the bread that makes this salad so wonderful. I cubed up a loaf of Ciabatta bread crusts and all, and spread the cubes over two baking sheets. Drizzled them with olive oil, and a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. In a preheated 400 degree oven bake for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. I like to shake the pans half way through the baking process, so that the bread gets tossed around a bit, and I can get a better feel for when the bread’s texture is just right.

Note: This recipe works even better if you have a loaf of day old bread. This will allow the bread to absorb the dressing much better.

Once the croutons are done, immediately place them into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. The hot croutons will absorb the dressing much better.

This vinaigrette can be made while the croutons are in the oven.  In another bowl add 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of grated garlic, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper.  Slowly drizzle in 1/2 a cup of E.V.O.O. Whisk this all together and just pour the dressing over the salad.

Toss all the ingredients together so the bread cubes gets coated in that delicious dressing. Finally, dice up 6 ounces of good Feta cheese. The reason I add this in last is so the cheese will keep its integrity.  Finish by adding in 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil leaves. You can toss in some of that delicious Genoa salami to your salad for that little something extra.

 

2014-10-26 17.58.40Prep Time:: 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Equipment: 2 baking sheets

Ingredients:
1 English cucumber, cut into half moons then cut half moon in half
1/2 red onion sliced into thinly sliced half moons
1 large diced yellow bell pepper
1 pint each of red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 pound of diced Genoa salami (optional)
6 ounces of diced Feta cheese
1 loaf of cubed Ciabatta bread baked off into croutons
1/4 cup of olive oil (for croutons)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt (for croutons)
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper ( for croutons)
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil leaves

Dressing:
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 clove of freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O

 


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