Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Panzanella - A Hearty Bread Salad

Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad made with leftover stale bread, tomatoes and basil. For a weeknight meal, this salad is the easiest one I have found... yet.... Panzanella is a very summery dish but using seasonal vegetables this dish can be made all round the year. Fall is here, apples abound the market in tons and hence my salad here features apples. Dressing for this salad cannot be any simpler either: just olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. I added some black beans that I had on hand to make this hearty enough for a light supper. But feel free to add any kind of beans. Also, to reduce the pungent taste of onions, soak sliced onions in ice cold water for 10 min, drain and pat dry before adding it in the salad. This ensures a crunchy yet mellow onion flavor.

3 cups of bread, cubed
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1 big carrot, sliced
1/2 cup black beans
2 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, according to taste
shredded Parmesan (optional)

  1. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the bread in this mixture, spread it on a sheet pan.
  2. Toast it in a 425ºF pre-heated oven for 10 min or until the bread turns golden brown and crunchy.
  3. In a salad bowl whisk in rest of the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Toss in the veggies, bread, beans and mix well until the dressing is evenly distributed.
  5. Sprinkle some Parmesan and serve.
A few things that can be added or substituted:
- Quartered hard boiled eggs
- Fresh mozzarella instead of Parmesan
- Basil instead of cilantro/parsley
- Veggies like bell pepper, roasted peppers, olives


Usha said...

Very colorful and hearty salad...thanks for the tip about soaking onions to reduce their pungent taste...will be useful when using onions in all types of salads...

Lahari said...

Nice recipe raji. I should try it sometime..

Roochi said...

Colourful healthy meal. nice one

SriLekha said...

looks so colorful and delicious!
do visit my blog when u find time!