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Grilled Chicken Panzanella with Mozzarella & Herbs



As I said on my Instagram post: Bread Salad- because life is too short to always order the green kind.

Or in this case, go ahead and make it. Panzanella, perhaps Italian for "bread salad" or something in that realm- I don't actually know, is what this week's blog brings you. This version combines grilled bread, garden (my garden that is!) fresh vegetables and herbs, some grilled chicken and mozz, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.

I let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving and it was dynamite. The bread cubes were just soaked enough to still have their 'bite' yet spongy enough to deliver on flavor. Fresh mozz was a welcomed part of the dish, as were all the herbs, spices, 'lotsa' tomatoes and onions. The cucumbers were good but as a cucumber-hater, I willingly gave those away. I really wish I liked that vegetable but after years of a failing relationship, we both know it's okay to go our separate ways. :)

I was glad I made this carb-lover salad vs a typical Romaine one on that given night. It was one where we went to the park once again to help the littles continue on with their no-training-wheel lifestyle. AKA, they are hella good now and my booty has to sprint to keep up. I needed all the energy from dinner to make it. A bowl of greens wouldn't have served me well.

Or them......a hungry Mom is not a friendly one. (fact)

But anyway, will I make this again?

100% yes.

Carb-lovers rejoice! This one's for you (and yours truly)!

Enjoy.....



Grilled Chicken Panzanella with Mozzarella & Herbs

Adapted from: NY Times Cooking

Serves: 2 as main dish, 4-6 as a side


Ingredients:

6 slices, about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick hearty bread, ciabatta or Italian, grilled or toasted (before grilling or toasting in oven, brush each side with olive oil and season with a pinch salt & pepper)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp kosher salt, pls additional to taste

4 small tomatoes, or 8-10 cherry/grape ones, chopped into 1/4 in pieces

3/4 C fresh mozzarella, (about 1/2 of a fresh ball), diced into 1/4 in cubes or roughly chopped

1/2 C thinly sliced red onion, (1/2 of a small one)

2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated

2 TBS red wine vinegar, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 cucumber, thinly sliced then cut the rounds in 1/2

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, rinsed, dried and roughly torn

1/4 C fresh parsley, rinsed, dried and finely chopped

1 chicken breast, grilled and chopped into bite size pieces

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano Cheese


  1. Cut grilled or toasted bread slices into roughly 1 inch cubes. Set aside

  2. In medium bowl, add tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, garlic, 1 TBS vinegar, oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, a pinch or few turns of freshly cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes (is using). Toss to coat well.

  3. In a larger bowl, whisk the remaining 1 TBS vinegar, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt and another pinch or few turns of freshly cracked pepper together. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the 1/4 C olive oil and whisk until mixture has thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil and parsley.

  4. Add the bread cubes and tomato mixture to that larger bowl (from step 3). Toss very well to combine. Add chicken and toss again to combine. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

  5. When read to serve, generously shower Parmigiano or Romano cheeses atop, drizzle with about 1 TBS additional red wine vinegar, 1/2 TBS olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper.

  6. Enjoy!


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