Sourdough bread is always wonderful next to a salad. But if you grill it, chop it up and add it into the salad, you get a filling meal that’s even more delicious.
While I love a nice piece of protein as my last meal of the day, every so often a large piece of meat or chicken or even a large plate of pasta is just too much for my stomach to handle. Every so often, all I want for dinner is something a little lighter, something that doesn’t make me feel like I need to unbutton my pants when I’m finished, something like… a salad. And this Panzanella salad from Fine Cooking was the perfect answer to my craving. The fact that it added chicken and took less than 30 minutes to make, made me even happier with the choice. Adding some heirloom tomatoes and Japanese cucumbers made it the perfect end to a perfect day.
Sourdough panzanella with chicken
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 (1-inch) slices sourdough bread
- 2 cups chicken, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Japanese cucumber, peeled halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley or cilantro
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the bread on both sides with two tablespoons of olive oil. Grill the bread until well marked, about one minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil and vinegar. Mix in the anchovy paste and garlic. Add the bread, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and herbs and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
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