Panzanella is Italian bread salad. Vinegar lovers – this one is for you. Super easy, super versatile and a great way to use up stale bread. Grab a rotisserie chicken and then clean out the crisper drawer in your fridge. Voila! Dinner done in 15 minutes. This simple panzanella recipe is a perfect weeknight meal anytime of year, but particularly in the summer when basil is in season. Try this simple version and then stay tuned to FrittataBlog for some fun variations!
For tonight’s panzanella I used chicken thighs instead of breasts and a fantastic basil-infused vinegar that I got at the farmer’s market. Got a fancy vinegar? Use it! You can sub white wine or prosecco vinegar if you have it. I threw in a sliced cayenne pepper for a little heat. A seeded jalapeno would be a good option.
No sourdough? No problem. Panzanella works with any of those gorgeous artisanal bread loaves you bought at the grocery and didn’t use up fast enough. My favorite bread for this recipe is actually pumpernickel or a rosemary garlic bread. Get creative!
Sourdough Bread Croutons
- 1.5 cups sourdough bread chunks, ideally already stale
- olive oil cooking spray
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium tomato, cut into chunks
- 1-2 rotisserie chicken breast
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into half moons
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
Make the Sourdough Croutons
- Preheat oven to 325°. Cut bread into 2-inch chunks, place in a baking dish in a flat layer. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and toss. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Toss again. Bake 7-10 minutes until golden. (if using fresh bread it may take a little longer to be totally dry)
- In a large serving bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sliced red onion and tomato. Set aside.
- Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Once bread is ready, nuke the chicken for 30 seconds to heat up.
- Add the chicken, bread and cucumber to the vinaigrette. Toss well until all bread is coated. Add torn basil, toss again. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Hungry for more?
Looking for more simple summer recipe ideas? Check out Summer Recipes – Episode 1.