Posts Tagged ‘fig balsamic vinegar’



April 26, 2011

I made this salad for Easter brunch.  It’s Panzanella or bread salad.  Lovely.

It was amazing.  I loved it.  It is the perfect side for a gathering.  What I liked about it is that it satisfied everyone.  I can see it served at a shower, but it was perfect for brunch.

The dressing was just the right compliment for the beans and bread.  The hint of basil and the use of the oven roasted tomatoes were perfect.  You could also just cut up the tomatoes, toss with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook them for about half the length of time as the beans.

I also loved this salad because sometimes I get into a salad rut and this really makes me think of summer.  Cut this recipe in half and you have a great side to any summer meal.

Also, this salad can easily be adapted to the grill, if you don’t want to heat up your kitchen the middle of July.


  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 C plus 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-12 inch lengths of crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (12 Cups)
  • 3/4 lb cherry or grape, oven roasted tomatoes
  • salt, to taste (I used truffle salt, but you can use a fine sea salt)
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar ( I used a fig flavored balsmaic vinegar and omitted the sugar)
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1-19 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb lightly salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/3 inch dice
  • 3/4 C fresh basil, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Wrap the garlic clove in foil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until soft.  Mash the garlic in a medium-sized bowl with a pinch of salt.  Slowly add 1/2 C of olive oil, whisk until combined well.  Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl and drizzle 3 T of garlic oil, tossing to combine.  Divide the bread between 2 large shallow baking pans arranging them in a single layer on the pan.  Toast in the oven, stirring once or twice, until golden about 10 – 12 minutes.

While the bread is toasting, prepare the green beans.  Toss the green beans in a medium-sized bowl with the remaining 3 T of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Once the bread is finished, toss the beans in a single layer onto one of the discarded pans.  The beans will sizzle slightly.    Roast the beans for 12-16 minutes.  Keep an eye on the beans.  Switch the position of the pans halfway through and stir once or twice.  You want the beans to be tender.  Cool the beans until you are ready to assemble.

To assemble the dressing.  Whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and garlic olive oil together.

Place the green beans, oven roasted tomatoes, bread, chickpeas, mozzarella  and basil in a large bowl.  Drizzle with dressing and stir to combine well.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature stirring again before serving.

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