Meatless Monday: Panzanella Salad

This week's offering is a healthy Italian dish.

Posted: 05/02/2011 03:44 PM EDT
Filed Under Meatless Monday

Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

 

Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Panzanella Salad. "This Italian salad is a great use of any leftover bread, especially if it's a little stale," says chef Asata, who provided this recipe. She adds, "The recipe calls for sourdough, but almost any traditional bread will work, including ciabatta, whole wheat, baguette or even pita bread."


Panzanella Salad

6 slices of sourdough bread
1 clove garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved

1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 oz feta or ricotta salata cheese, cubed or crumbled


Cut the bread in thick slices, rub each slice with the garlic clove and toast on a griddle or oiled pan until crisp on both sides. Allow to cool, then cut bread into 2-inch cubes.

 

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, basil and olives in a large bowl with the vinegar and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Just prior to serving, toss in the toasted bread cubes and cheese.

 

Serves 4.

 

Nutritional analysis of Panzanella Salad:

 

Nutrition info: Per 218 gram serving: 363 calories, 8 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 17 mg cholesterol, 836 mg sodium, 58 g total carbs, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar and 15 g protein.

About chef Asata

Chef Asata completed her degree in culinary arts from the International School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2000 and has been a professional chef for nearly a decade in some of Atlanta’s top-rated restaurants and in private homes. She has been chef at Dish Restaurant, the Food Studio and Nikolai’s Roof (both recipients of the AAA Four Diamond Award) and the vegan restaurant Lush. Asata teaches cooking classes for teens and adults at the Cooks Warehouse in Atlanta.

 

(Photo: THIERRY GOUEGNON/Reuters/Landov)

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