Tuesday, July 22

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

Grilled summer vegetables and cubes of ciabatta bread tossed with a tangy vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad has been showing up on every cooking show, food magazine, and restaurant menu lately. Originally created by the Italians as a way to use up leftover bread, this salad has close to a 50/50 ratio of croutons to vegetables. If you're a bread lover like me, this is about as good as a salad gets. My recipe calls for throwing almost all the ingredients on the grill, which allows the bread to get crispy and the vegetables to soften and caramelize. It makes a big difference in the overall flavors and textures of the salad and it's perfect for summer barbecues. After the ingredients come off the grill, everything gets tossed with a super tangy and bright red wine vinaigrette. The dressing soaks into the bread but doesn't cause it to turn mushy because of how crispy the croutons get on the grill. I like to serve it warm or at room temperature alongside roasted chicken. Any leftover chicken can be folded into leftover salad for lunch the next day.

Note: I use a grilling basket to grill the cherry tomatoes in this recipe. It's inexpensive and makes grilling small and cut vegetables so quick and easy. If you don't have one, I'd suggest using a grill pan or keeping the tomatoes raw.

Related Recipes:
- Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Homemade Croutons
- Grilled Shrimp Greek Salad

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad:
For Dressing
  • Whisk together 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil until combined, then stir in 2 tbsp. chopped parsley.
For Salad
  • Heat a grill to  medium high.
  • Slice 1 small loaf of ciabatta bread in half lengthwise and cut 1 red onion in 1" rings.
  • Brush the bread, onion slices, 1 large bell pepper, and 1 pint of cherry tomatoes with canola oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the bread and vegetables until the bread has toasted (about 4-5 minutes per side) and the veggies are softened (about 4-5 minutes for the onion, 10 minutes for the pepper, and 5-6 minutes for the tomatoes).
  • Cut the bread, onion, and pepper into bite-size pieces and combine with the tomatoes in a bowl.
  • Add in the dressing and toss to combine, then add in 1 c. baby arugula.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serves two (main course) - four (side dish)