Accidental Vegetarian: Panzanella

Meatless Monday and sharing a bottle of wine over dinner, is a tradition we have recently slipped into, as it is the one evening neither of us has to rush off to do something else. We are discovering that vegetarian food does not have to be boring. It’s actually surprisingly easy to find recipes for dishes that you would cook or order in a restaurant, because you want to eat it, not because it is vegetarian. Italian cuisine offers up many such pleasures. Panzanella is light but satisfying, and pairs well with a good Chianti Classico.

Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
Serves 4

adapted from the several dozen but all very similar recipes on the web. David Rocco inspired me to try it after he prepared a version on Dolce Vita.

Ingredients: Salad

9-10 cups of day old rustic bread such as Italian crusty, cut into large cubes….1-2 inches
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 a large sweet onion, cut into thin slices
1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half, then quarters, then chunks
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
Parmesan for serving

Ingredients for Dressing:

1/3 cup good quality olive oil
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
good pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper


1. Combine bread and half of the marinade, toss and let sit to marinate for 10 minutes.

2. Add the remaining marinade and other ingredients. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired. Salad does not keep so eat up!

Click HERE for a print-friendly version of this recipe.





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