Think of this Whole Wheat Panzanella Salad as a no-cook stuffing. An alternative or addition to the classic Thanksgiving sides, this easy recipe gets the whole family involved and is great for cooking with kids. This simple Panzanella Bread Salad is made with whole wheat bread and packed full of vegetables. Try mixing in your favorite veggies - or whatever you have in the fridge!
No Cook Stuffing (Whole Wheat Panzanella Salad)
Yields: 6-8 servings
For the Salad:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole wheat baguette or boule (8 oz), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cucumber, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (14-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
1 cup packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
Optional: 3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
3. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, beans, red onion, basil, and capers, if using. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for a half hour or so to allow flavors to meld. Enjoy!