Customizable Panzanella Salad
Written by Rachel, Posted in Beans, Beef, Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Eggs, Fish, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pork, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian
There are so many things that this salad can be. It can be vegan, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein… It all depends on what you add to it.
I made some baguettes a few weeks ago that I wasn’t thrilled with. They’re prefect for croutons though. If you prefer to avoid bread, quinoa or tofu would be great bread replacers. Or, if you’re eating gluten-free, your best gluten-free bread will be just perfect.
To make up the bulk of this salad, I opened this week’s Abundant Harvest Organics box then pulled a few things from the produce drawer. But this is where there are so many ways you can make this salad your own.
Beyond tons of veggie options, here are a few ways you could adapt this dish:
Protein a Plenty: Add beans, quinoa (instead of or alongside the bread), tofu, hard boiled eggs, meat (tuna, beef, chicken, turkey, pork), nuts, cheese.
Paleo: Add eggs, meat, and nuts instead of the bread.
Vegan: Leave as is, or add quinoa or tofu.
Gluten-Free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread, or swap out the bread for quinoa.
All the Veggies: I used nopales, onion, carrot, green beans, radish, and summer squash. You could also add: snap peas, greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber… or any other veggies that are in season and you think would taste great.
I love the combination of a really good quality olive oil like Bari’s along with balsamic vinegar. But, a mixture of red wine vinegar and lemon juice, or balsamic and lemon juice would also be great. Customize it to make it your own!
Riiiiiight before serving add the bread. Or to really avoid soggy bread, put the bread on the plate and top it with salad, letting the dressing soak in slowly. The lesson I learned today: only add as much bread as you’re going to eat. The leftovers will get way soggy (#freetofail).
This is one of my favorite ways to welcome summer. But, come fall or winter, just trade the summer veggies for some roasted winter ones and you’ve got a winner all year round.
- 3-4 C stale bread (any kind - or could sub 2-3 C quinoa or tofu), cubed
- 1 t olive oil
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 C balsamic or red wine vinegar (or half vinegar half lemon juice)*
- 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- 2 T to 1/4 C olive oil*
- 3-4 T fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme), chopped
- 4-6 C any of the following (cubed, chopped, grated, or torn): summer squash, nopales, snap peas, green beans, greens, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, red onions, nuts, hard boiled eggs, nuts, chicken, beef, tuna, pork, mozzarella, parmesan, cannellini beans, garbonzo beans)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Toss bread with 1 t olive oil, salt, and pepper, Place on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for about 5 minutes more (or until they're golden and toasty).
- Whisk balsamic vinegar through pepper. Stream in oil as you whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- Toss salad contents (except bread, if using quinoa or tofu, add it now) with dressing. Add bread just before serving.