Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bread Salad (Panzanella)

Really a crouton salad, but it is delish!  It is an Italian dish and can be simplified if desired.  I make homemade croutons first and then work on the rest while they are baking.  It is a wonderful side dish and is even great over field greens. 


  • loaf of hearty whole grain seedy bread (can be couple days old and can use ciabatta bread if don't like whole grain)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parm. cheese divided (please, no kraft from pasta isle)
  • garlic powder
  • fresh ground pepper
  • onion powder

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut bread into1/2" to 3/4" cube and place in large bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over starting with lesser amount and adding more if necessary.  Toss to coat.  Add crushed garlic, 1/4 c. parm cheese and good sprinkle of garlic and onion powder.  Few turns of pepper and toss again until coated and all bread has light coating of the olive oil goodness.  Place on cookie sheet and bake, turning croutons every 10 min so it browns evenly.  Bake until firm on outside but still slightly chewy on inside about 30-40 minutes.  Top with another 1/4c. parm. cheese and more garlic and onion powder if needed.

  • 1 pint halved grape tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, diced finely
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives 
  • 1/2-3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella or halved mozz. balls
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (or parsley)


In medium serving bowl, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes before adding the beans, shallots and olives. Just before serving, add cheese and mix in the bread cubes and combine gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle in the oil, whisking to blend. Pour over the salad just before serving. Add the basil and toss. Taste for seasoning before serving.

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