Is there really anything better than thick crusty french bread, doused in butter, and then grilled for a hot second on each side until its golden brown and crispy and delicious? Okay, maybe these, but other than that, I don’t think so!
I know. It sounds amazing. And trust me – it tastes just as freaking good.
I’m a carb kinda gal through and through, but with my bachelorette fast approaching, I’m trying to cut back on the excessive amounts of bread I consume on a daily basis. I mean I live like 10 minutes away from the best Italian bakery in all of Los Angeles and the fresh warm bread there is just out of this world. It’s hard to say no to that kind of peer pressure.
So last weekend we had a mini college reunion with some friends that have moved down to LA, like us, from the Bay Area. (woot woot, go Gaels!) I wanted to make something special that wasn’t totally carb heavy, so I opted for this Grilled Panzanella. It’s basically only 50% bread. So that’s gotta count for something right?
I picked up a loaf of bread from Bay Cities (the ultimate Italian shop I was talking about) and then went to town!
I brushed the cut up pieces of bread with a melted butter and then toss them on a grill to get nice and toasty and gorgeous. And then I ate 10 pieces. And had to start all over again because I almost ran out of bread. That’s the thing with me, I just can’t be stopped. It’s like putting 1 M&M in your mouth. Ya right, you need at least 2 handfuls of those suckers every time you have them.
So after I made a ton of those butter soaked grilled bread cubes, I proceeded to grill up my favorite veggies and then throw them all into a big bowl and call it a day. Well, I threw a little black truffle salt on top for good measure. And a red wine vinaigrette just for kicks!
And I’ll just throw this out there too. I know panzanella salads are typically supposed to have tomatoes. But I didn’t have any. So don’t judge… I just made do with what I had!
It’s kind of the perfect summer salad. And you should absolutely make it for 4th of July. You could even make it and bring it to a potluck or picnic. Just keep the toasted bread and red wine vinaigrette separate and then toss it all together at your event. And there you have it…
Grilled Summer Panzanella Salad
- 2 large Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into 1-2 inch strips
- 2 large Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1-2 inch strips
- 1 Red Onion, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
- Scallions, ends discarded
- 1 large Zucchini, cut into 1/3 inch rounds
- Olive Oil
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 French Baguette, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 - 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced shallots
- 1 tbsl dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare your grill to medium heat.
- Brush all of the vegetables with the olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables until they are just slightly charred. About 3-4 minutes per side for the peppers and onions, 1-2 minutes for the scallions and 2-3 minutes for the zucchini. Remove the vegetables from the grill and set them aside. Once the vegetables are cooled, cut them into 1 inch pieces.
- Brush the baguette with the melted butter and season it with salt and pepper. Place the bread cubes on the grill and let them grill for 1-2 minutes per side until they are nice and golden brown with grill marks. Remove the bread from the grill and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
- When you're ready to serve the salad. Toss all the vegetables and bread together in a large bowl. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and taste. Add more vinaigrette if needed. Serve immediately.
- If you have truffle salt, this would be the perfect salad to use it for!