I know it's not autumn but once you try this salad you won't care that it's not season appropriate! (Well who does care when the food is good?) I'd never had panzanella (bread salad) before trying this recipe. The idea of always sounded kind of strange to me, plus I hate soggy bread so I didn't like the idea of putting dressing on a bread. But! How things changed once I tried this recipe. It's now one of my favourite meals! I'm so in love with the dressing - it tastes like stuffing with thyme, herbes de provence, sage and garlic. I love the acidity of the lemon juice and cider vinegar. I love the bits of roasted sweet potatoes and onions, chopped tomatoes and chickpeas. The original recipe calls for Parmesan cheese which I tried the first time but I think it's just as good without so I don't usually add it.
Happy early Easter! At the request of my mom, I'm going to attempt making hot cross buns for the first time. If you have a good recipe, please share!
If this sounds good, you might also like:
French Pasta Salad
Mediterranean Pepper Salad
Portabello Salad with Mustard Dressing
Adapted from Phoo-D
Serves 4 as a main course or 8-10 as a side salad
Be sure to allow the finished dish to sit for an hour before serving. This is necessary for the flavors to fully develop, otherwise the bread will not have time to absorb the dressing and may taste rather bland.
10 cups cubed whole wheat bread (cut into 1" pieces) (Ashley note: I use whole wheat baguettes usually but use what you like.)
1 cup diced sweet potato (about 1 medium)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
2 cups diced fresh tomato (or a 14oz high quality can, drained)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, with a rack in the middle. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil, and evenly spread the bread, sweet potato, and onion across the sheet. Drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over the baking pan, and then toss all ingredients so they are evenly coated with oil. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring the contents occasionally, until they are evenly toasted and the vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, assemble the dressing. Place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sage, thyme, vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence in a blender. Blend in quick five second bursts, until the garlic is emulsified and the ingredients are well combined.
Once the bread and vegetables are toasted, place them in a large bowl along with the diced tomatoes, grated Parmesan (optional), chickpeas, and dressing. Gently toss all ingredients until they are well combined and the bread is evenly coated with dressing.
Cover the salad, and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, which will give the bread time to absorb the flavors of the salad. Once the flavors have melded together nicely, taste the salad to see if it needs any additional salt, pepper, or apple cider vinegar. Adjust seasonings to your taste, and serve.