Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad that uses day old bread and ripe tomatoes.  It is a great way to use leftover vegetables and all those tomatoes that you have growing in your back yard.  But, I don’t like raw tomatoes…I know, I know how can I not like tomatoes???  I so wish I did, but I hate them!  So I have come up with a “Panzanella” ish salad. It’s a bit more hearty and if you want you can add chicken to it for a full meal.



About 6 Servings

1 loaf crusty French bread-leftover from the night before is great, cubed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 English cucumber (they are the cucumbers wrapped in cellophane), cut into half moons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
20 mini Bocconcini mozzarella balls
6 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into strips)

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

Toss cubed bread with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Spread onto a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes or until slightly crunchy.

Meanwhile, combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Or you may combine in a bowl and whisk until emulsified. 

In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, cucumber, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, beans, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad.  It is best to let this sit for an hour or two in the refrigerator.  But, of course, you can eat it right away if you are short on time.