A classic Italian salad made with day-old bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and other veggies with addition of store bought rotisserie chicken makes this a perfect weeknight, light dinner.
This is a great dish to use up your not so ripe or over ripe tomatoes. By letting the tomatoes sit in a bowl sprinkled with salt a beautiful juice forms that adds a sweetness to the dressing that screams summer! Now, I know its not summer yet, but I feel like we are all SO ready for some warm weather and some sunny days so lets just pretend!
The “recipe” for panzanella has been around for centuries, but the addition of tomatoes was not until the 20th century so this is an ever evolving recipe. My point being add whatever you have on hand to this salad. There is no recipe. If you have avocado or corn or squash add it! Grilled chicken, shrimp, steak, salmon…add it. There are no rules and you can’t mess it up!
With my “recipe” I used what I had in my fridge-tomato, arugula, watercress, day-old bread, mozzarella. Then I ran by the grocery store after carpool and picked up a rotisserie chicken along with chocolate milk because I can’t leave the grocery without the Choc milk for the youngest one. And dinner was on the table in 20 minutes.
Another tip is if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own dressing (it is pretty fabulous and easy, but no judgement if you can’t) then just use jarred dressing or if you are really being lazy (again no judgement) use the juice from the tomatoes and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the salad with salt and pepper and that is just as delicious.
Hope you enjoy this no recipe, recipe:)
Rotisserie Chicken Panzanella Salad
A light, easy summer salad that uses up what you have on hand!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small French baguette or whatever left over bread you have, cut or torn into cubes
- Kosher Salt and Pepper
- 2 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
- mozzarella balls, cubes or slices
- 1 bunch watercress
- 1 bunch arugula
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar or Red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice from tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and toss with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crusty and golden
While the bread is toasting, cut the tomatoes into cubes and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit. The tomato juices will collect in the bowl.
To make the Vinaigrette- In a lidded jar combine juices collected from tomatoes, garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shake well.
In a large bowl combine cucumber, watercress, arugula, tomatoes, shredded chicken and toasted bread. Drizzle with dressing. Let the salad sit as long as you have so the bread soaks up all the delicious dressing, but it is ready to eat as soon as you are.