Grilled Panzanella Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette
Easily one of my new favorite dishes to make, it is versatile enough for all-year eating. Hearty, fresh, and so yummy - I can't wait to explore this dish with other vegetables and protein.
In an attempt to squeeze in one more summer dish before fall officially kicks in, I raided the grocery store for in-season veggies. We have a ton of cherry and grape tomatoes from our garden that needed to get eaten before they went bad or got soft, and it only took a few other key ingredients to whip this right up.
We love to grill. Everything in the spring, summer, and fall gets grilled if possible. Having a cast iron pan for our grill makes it even easier. The clean up is hassle free and you can't beat the flavor you get from grilling. If you don't have access to a grill, an indoor grill pan works too. Getting tender vegetables and bread with grill markings is important.
Using a pre-made vinaigrette works, but it's so easy to make and create your favorite flavor profile. We keep the kitchen stocked with the ingredients for dressing pretty much all the time, so using what you already have to make a healthy and light dressing for this salad was a no-brainer. I like making a little bit sweeter of a vinaigrette since the bread soaks up so much of the dressing. Balances out the vegetables so well!
2 medium zucchini
1 red bell pepper
3 cups tomatoes cut in halves
1 loaf French baguette
2 hearts of romaine
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup EVOO
2 tsp honey
1. Heat grill to medium heat. Slice zucchini, red pepper, tomatoes and toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp EVOO. On a cast iron grill pan, grill vegetables until tender. Approximately 15 minutes.
2. Slice bread in half and brush on 1 tsp EVOO. Grill until grill marks appear on bread. Cut into cubes once grilled. Set aside.
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining EVOO, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and honey. Mix thoroughly.
4. Rough chop romaine and mix in grilled vegetables and bread.
5. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Shred some fresh parmesan over the salad before serving.
It really is that easy. Letting the salad sit before serving allows the bread to soak in the dressing and the flavors deepen and get the chance to marry. This has become my new favorite quick, delicious, healthy meal that I can throw together on a whim using whatever vegetables I have. Same with the vinaigrette - use your favorite bottled dressing, or make your favorite recipe.