Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette

The Panzanella salad was invented in Italy, simply because we are the best! ┬áJust kidding ­čÖé ┬áSeriously though, the Italians, like many European cultures do a great job of utilizing every piece of food they have. ┬áSo when there was a bunch of left over crusty bread, or a few random things from the garden, why not throw a salad together? ┬áI’ve also heard the Panzanella called a garbage salad, but that just sounds hideous for obvious reasons. ┬áThis┬áPanzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette became a reality when I noticed how many random things I had laying around. ┬áSome leftover spring mix and arugula, along with some spare cherry tomatoes, peaches, a ton of basil and a few ounces of Feta and boom this thing came together. ┬áThis is a super balanced salad that is just dang good leftovers or bought fresh.

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Lots of goodness going on in this Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette!

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You could also try a simple balsamic vinaigrette as well!

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Last but not least, some up close love…

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Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette
 
Utilize all of your ingredient leftovers in this delicious Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette. Add a grilled chicken breast to change things up!
Ingredients
For the Salad:
  • 1 loaf of French bread cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of assorted colored cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 3 stalks of sliced celery
  • ½ seeded and thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2 pitted and sliced peaches
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 2 cups of spring mix
  • ½ cup of Feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Pesto Vinaigrette:
  • 2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • ⅓ to ½ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Coat the chicken in 1 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and grilled on a hot grill until cooked through. Once cooked remove from the grill and let rest.
  2. Next, coat the cubed French bread with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a hot grill or in the oven on 400┬░ to quickly toast the outside of the bread. Note: you are not making croutons, just toasting the outside.
  3. In a food processor or Vitamix, add in the basil leaves, lemon juice, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and quickly pulse for 5 seconds. Next slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing becomes emulsified. Finish with water, salt and pepper to make a pesto vinaigrette.
  4. In large bowl add in the toasted bread, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, peaches, arugula, spring mix, feta, a few tablespoons of the pesto vinaigrette, salt and pepper and toss until coated.
  5. Slice the chicken and serve on top of the salad.

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