Sweet tomatoes and sourdough bread are the foundation of any panzanella salad recipe (a traditional Tuscan bread salad), and they’re all the more delicious with salty feta cheese, spicy arugula, and a refreshing handful of basil and parsley.
If one sign of getting older is constantly remarking at how quickly time passes these days, then I’m aging rapidly. I blink, and it’s Monday again. I look up, and the month’s over. I swear I go to sleep and–oh, spring!
I didn’t expect to be saying this, but I already miss the coziness of winter. But then I think about how good it feels to wear flip flops, to be outside when it’s 75 and sunshine-y, to be able to buy a million fresh fruits and veggies…and it’s like, winter who?!
It happens just the same way every year around April–I feel this urge to spring clean what I eat. I move out of my piping hot comfort food phase and into my cold salads period. To make the transition a little smoother, I make sure my salads are nice and hearty. That’s why this panzanella does the trick. It’s filling and packed with a variety of flavors and texture–satisfying on every level.
Sweet tomatoes and sourdough bread are the foundation of any panzanella salad, and they’re all the more delicious with salty feta, spicy arugula, and a refreshing handful of basil and parsley. A generous pour of good quality olive oil and a few glugs of red wine vinegar tie all the flavors together. I like to serve panzanella as a side, with grilled fish or chicken, but the chickpeas and feta provide protein for staying power on its own, too!
Panzanella Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped tomato about 1 pound
- 1 cup peeled seeded, and chopped cucumber
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 15- ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 4 cups sourdough bread cubes chopped ½-inch thick, toasted
- 1 cup packed arugula or baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and chickpeas, and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Add the bread, arugula, parsley, basil, and feta, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin Photography