Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette

The Panzanella salad was invented in Italy, simply because we are the best! ¬†Just kidding ūüôā ¬†Seriously though, the Italians, like many European cultures do a great job of utilizing every piece of food they have. ¬†So when there was a bunch of left over crusty bread, or a few random things from the garden, why not throw a salad together? ¬†I’ve also heard the Panzanella called a garbage salad, but that just sounds hideous for obvious reasons. ¬†This¬†Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette became a reality when I noticed how many random things I had laying around. ¬†Some 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. ¬†This is a super balanced salad that is just dang good leftovers or bought fresh.


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


You could also try a simple balsamic vinaigrette as well!


Last but not least, some up close love…


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!
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
  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¬į 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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