Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is an Italian salad traditionally made with stale toasted bread, tomatoes, onion, and a vinaigrette dressing.  I am always a big fan of making fresh raw vegetables taste good.  This salad not only does the trick but also satisfies the most stubborn veggie critics.  Panzanella salad is also extremely versatile and can be made with any fresh veggies you have on hand.  I made this particular salad for a cookout I recently went to but just the other day made a similar version with lightly steamed asparagus and sprouted broccoli that was absolutely delicious.  This simple salad is impossible to mess up and the mouthwatering combination of crisp veggies, savory croutons, and tangy vinaigrette is sure to win your heart over in just one bite.

All the prep can easily be done ahead of time and the salad can be assembled right before serving.

Panzanella Salad

makes 6 servings

Salad

1 small whole grain baguette, cubed or about 4 cups cubed stale bread

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 medium cucumber, chopped

2 small red onions or 1 large red onion, sliced

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Lemony Mustard Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss bread cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat well.  Bake on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through, until bread cubes are lightly toasted.

In a large bowl, combine toasted bread cubes with bell peppers, cucumber, onions, olives, cheese, and basil.

Whisk together garlic, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pour vinaigrette into large bowl with veggies and toss to coat well.

Nutrition facts per serving: 182 calories, 8 g total fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 456 mg sodium, 21 g total carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber, 6 g protein


BALANCE IT OUT:  This salad works great as a starter, side salad, or even snack.  You can also double the servings and enjoy it as a light lunch or dinner.

“You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

Love,

Renee

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