Panzanella is a classic Italian tomato and bread salad that is fresh and summery, but still hearty enough to eat as a light supper or lunch. Bread salad? Yes! But what if you can’t eat bread? No need to worry! Our friend, Dalya from It’s Raining Flour, has created an incredible gluten-free version using our Organic Sangria® Medley Tomatoes, Organic Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes and Organic Mini Cucumbers!
Being gluten free can be a challenge sometimes and can often mean missing out on some really delicious dishes. If you’re handy in the kitchen, there are lots of ways to take old favorites and turn them into gluten-free masterpieces! That’s what our friend Dalya does.
Aside from being gluten-free, this is not a traditional Panzanella salad. Dalya, with her amazing creativity in the kitchen, has put a twist on it. She combined the flavors of a classic Greek salad with the components of a Panzanella salad (like bread and fresh tomatoes) and then added some other flavorful ingredients, like our Organic Mini Cucumbers, to round it out. The result? An incredibly flavorful Greek-Style Panzanella Salad.
First, you’ll want to make the gluten-free croutons. You can buy store bought ones, if you can find them, but having homemade croutons gives you a lot more control over the size and flavor. If you get your bread from a gluten-free bakery, you can call ahead and ask them to reserve an uncut loaf for you – if they don’t already sell them like that. Sometimes you can find certain brands will sell uncut loaves as well. A loaf that hasn’t been sliced yet is the most ideal for this recipe as you can make the croutons a bit thicker so they don’t get soggy. It’s best to use bread that is at least 2 to 3 days old. Staler bread means less moisture and a crunchier crouton.
Cut the bread into cubes and then lay them out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Put the pan into a preheated 375 F oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Let them cool on the pan completely once you take them out of the oven.
Next, you’re going to prepare the dressing. Dalya prefers to use a jar with a lid so she can shake it up, but you can use a bowl and a whisk if you choose. Add all the dressing ingredients to the jar and either whisk them together, or shake them up! The dressing should be well combined and look creamy.
Now it’s time to assemble the salad! This requires some prep work for the veggies. This salad focuses on the depth of flavor within each vegetable, so you’ll want to use the best quality. That’s why Dalya uses our Organic Sangria® Medley Tomatoes, Organic Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes and Organic Mini Cucumbers! Sustainably grown in greenhouses, these veggies are available year-round, so they’re never out of season. Pure Flavor® Certified Organic greenhouse grown vegetables meet the strict USDA guidelines, ensuring what you buy is truly organic.
Slice up the asparagus into one and a half inch pieces and blanch them in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, then shock them in ice water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Slice up the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, avocados, and beets, then put them in a large bowl along with the asparagus. Add in the croutons, give the dressing another few whisks or shakes, and pour it over the salad. Toss gently until all the ingredients are coated. Let the salad sit for a bit before serving. This is where the magic happens! Depending on how you like it, 20 to 30 minutes is a good amount of time for the flavors to meld and for the bread to soak up the dressing before going too soggy.
That’s it! You are ready to dig in. This salad pairs well with any protein whether it’s animal or plant-based. It’s perfect for backyard barbecues, potluck picnics or just your ordinary weeknight dinner.
For the full recipe, you can find it here.
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