Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Italian Panzanella Bread Salad

A great summer salad recipe.

8 ounces country style white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups red or yellow teardrop tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 small red onion, cut into 3/4 inch slices
10 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/3 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 head green or red leaf lettuce
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
 
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt, and toss again. Spread the cubed bread evenly over a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Toss together the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and kalamata olives in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pesto, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and pepper. Toss the tomatoes with the pesto mixture, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
To serve, toss the toasted bread cubes and goat cheese with the tomato mixture. Line a serving platter with a few lettuce leaves. Shred the remaining lettuce, and mound in the center of the platter. Spoon the bread mixture over the lettuce, and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

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