Green Bean Panzanella {gluten-free, vegan}

Green Bean Panzanella {gluten-free, vegan}
Green Bean Panzanella {gluten-free, vegan}

Oh, how I am smitten with panzanella (a.k.a. bread salad).  This clever little Italian dish couldn’t be easier or more down to earth: mix a few vegetables together, toss in some homemade croutons and drizzle with vinaigrette. Dinner is served. The homemade croutons take this from a wimpy side dish to a lovely, light meal. And who wouldn’t be impressed if you told them you were serving panzanella. It is all in the name (shh! I use this tactic on Adam all the time).

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GREEN BEAN PANZANELLA
Adapted from Ina Garten

About this recipe. I’ve made this 4 or 5 times in the last month and this version is my personal favorite.  Feel free to experiment.  The possibilities are endless.  I can’t wait to try a true fall version with butternut squash, brussel spouts, etc.

Salad:
4-5 slices of gluten free sandwhich bread (or whole grain wheat bread if you’re not GF)
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces (see this post for how to)
1 lb. green beans or approximately 3 cups/handfuls, ends trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces
1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 leaves of fresh basil, thinly sliced

Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Place halved tomatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast 45 mins. until slightly shriveled and browned in places.
  • While tomatoes roast prepare the croutons. Cut the slices of bread into 1″ cubes. Heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil over medium low heat, add bread cubes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, tossing frequently until browned, adding more olive oil or salt if necessary.  Set aside to cool.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add green beans and cook 1-2 minutes until bright green, but still crisp.  Drain and run beans under water to cool.
  • Whisk together the vinaigrette.
  • Remove tomatoes from oven. Roast bell peppers at this point if you haven’t already.
  • Mix the roasted tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and sliced shallot together with the croutons, toss with vinaigrette, garnish with basil and serve immediately.  Alternatively, the mixed veggies can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 day and then tossed with the vinaigrette and croutons upon serving.

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