The staple side dish to a summer dinner. With an abundance of seasonal zucchini, this…
Summer Panzanella with Avocado
Do you want to feel good about eating bread? Make it into a salad! Only Italians would think of this…
I learned about bread salad while watching cooking shows way back in college. When I started really diving into the “health kick” stage, I wouldn’t have dreamed of making a fresh salad out of BREAD!
Bread salad is incredible! Think about it, a pasta dish is usually served with bread and salad…now…it is all in one form. Also, it’s a great way to use up garden tomatoes, avocados and that leftover baguette from this past week’s dinner. It’s resourceful and it is a treat! And while learning how to rekindle my love for carbs, I was able to ease my way into it by portioning out a salad with the bread.
This is perfect to serve at brunch! Make some runny eggs to top an individual plate. Call it“deconstructed avocado toast” which will impress your guests and leave very little work for you. I added the avocados because I love avocado toast and this is similar. This recipe also made me limit my serving sizes because I knew I was getting a lot of the same flavors from just one serving. Again, think about it like eating avocado toast with way more vegetables! It’s also perfect for a hangover brunch!! It has carbs and fats that nourish you and help you heal up fast before the first round of mimosas are served.
Rookie mistake: Don’t add the avocado until the end. I was in my own head and just added everything – not thinking straight – and before I knew it I was mashing the avocado with the bread. It turned out great but didn’t make for a great photo. I didn’t want make another batch (that I would be forced to eat) for a better view but now you know. Stick with the instructions. It’ll keep the avocado chunkier rather than part of the dressing.
- 6 cups whole grain baguette or sourdough baguette cubed
- non stick cooking spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1½ tablespoons capers with brine
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes quartered or halved
- ½ large red onion sliced
- ½ medium seedless (or English) cucumber sliced
- 3 medium hass avocados cubed
- ¼ cup dry roasted sunflower seed kernels
- Preheat oven to 250°
- Cube baguette (best if starting to become stale). In a single layer, spread out bread onto a baking sheet. Spray with non stick cooking spray and add salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until slightly toasted. Remove and let cool.
- In a large salad bowl wisk together balsamic, capers/brine, olive oil, dijon mustard and then season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, onions and cucumbers and allow them to sit while the bread cools.
- Add bread to the dressing and vegetables. Lightly toss and let sit for 4-5 minutes.
- Add avocado and toss one last time before sprinkling with sunflower seed kernels.