I can’t not pretend to love salad. In fact, I order it nearly everywhere I go. I always like to say that you can tell a restaurant not by its main courses, but by how it treats salads and vegetables. My recent favorite is the panzanella. All jokes aside, I love bread, duh. And it in a salad all cubed up is a welcomed edition. But I also love the contrast of the bread with super fresh and crunchy ingredients. It makes it summery and still cozy and warm.
Panzanella is also a great place to put bread that might be on its way out. I like to use two or three day old bread and cube it up. It gets toasty in the oven (not too toasted) and then tossed with fresh vegetables from the garden or fridge. In this case, I chopped up some celery (I always have some on hand for my morning celery juice), cherry tomatoes, zucchini and fresh herbs like basil and Italian parsley. It was a crispy addition to the dinner table.
- 1/4 loaf of bread (I used sour dough), cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 2 radishes, sliced
- 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup minced basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese shavings, as garnish
- Easy Dressing:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- To Make the Salad: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add the cubed sour dough to a baking sheet. Drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the oven to toast for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, celery, zucchini, red onion, radishes, minced Italian parsley and basil leaves. And then add the reserved cubes of toasted sour dough.
- To Make the Easy Dressing: To a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, freshly cracked pepper, dried oregano and red pepper flakes. Pour over the salad and toss until combined. Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to your liking. Garnish with shavings of parmesan cheese.
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.