Apparently I have a confession to make. I have a problem with buying way too much bread. If I even get near the day old section, I am sucked into the vortex of carbs and come out with a basket full. I bring it home and freeze a lot of it because it’s too much to eat before it gets stale. Needless to say the other day, I could barely see into my freezer past the wall of bread.
Thankfully I’m a huge fan of panzanella which is basically a salad loaded with lots of chopped veggies and shredded day old bread. From what I’ve been told, this salad originated over in Tuscany as a way to use up the plethora (Oooh! Big word.) of tomatoes and bread loaves they had lying around. Since the salad has a dressing with vinegar, the bread soaks it up and no longer has that dried crouton texture.
Blueberry Panzanella Salad
- 1 cup (42g) raw spinach
- 1 cup (42g) arugula
- 1/2 cup (50g) blueberries
- 6 grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup (39g) raw carrots
- 1/2 cup cucumbers
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp (7g) pine nuts
- 4 oz grilled chicken breast, shredded
- 1 small ciabatta roll, day old is best
- 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
Chop the veggies into bite sized pieces and add each to a large bowl. Add the pine nuts and grilled chicken. Tear or cut the ciabatta roll into bite sized chunks and add to the bowl. Whisk the vinegars and mustard in a small bowl until combined. Pour over salad and toss well. Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes to give the bread a chance to soak up some of the vinegar.
Makes one large salad at 458 calories – 32g protein, 59g carbs, and 11g fat.
This salad is really customizable to your needs and takes no time at all to make. All you have to do is chop some veggies and chicken, toss and you’ve got a homemade salad with dressing. You can add more or less chicken based on how much protein you need. More or less nuts, or even leave them out altogether. You can change the veggies or the amounts of each based on your own preferences.
You can also leave out the roll or use pita bread chunks, French bread chunks, or any other sturdy bread. You can also easily make this vegetarian or vegan by using tofu instead of chicken. Play and experiment with your salads to combine colorful veggies and fruits, different textures from crunchy to creamy to smooth, and even different greens instead of plain old romaine.
I was excited to use up some of my bread stash. Now to figure out a few more ways. I’ve got a freezer to empty! 😉