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This yummy salad combines the classic Spanish soup with Italian bread salad. Go ahead and chop the vegs. and toast the bread ahead of time, then toss the salad just before serving because the bread will soak up the juices and become soggy if it sits too long. If you prefer your panzanella drier, just use less dressing. For a vegetarian version, leave out the chicken. Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.
- 4 ounces French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- olive oil flavored cooking spray
- 4 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups cucumbers, seeded, chopped
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1⁄2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1⁄2 cup red onion, sliced vertically
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1⁄2 cup V8 vegetable juice (or other vegetable juice)
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar (I sometimes throw in a sprinkle or two of balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- For Salad:.
- Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat bread cubes with the olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 350*F. for 15 minutes or till golden brown, stirring once. Set aside.
- Put tomato, chicken, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and parsley in a large bowl; toss lightly to combine.
- For Dressing:.
- Combine the vegetable juice, vinegar, olive oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad tossing gently to coat. Stir in the bread cubes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!