Friday, June 7, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Panzanella Salad

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Now that summer has hit NYC, it is absolute torture to go into our tiny galley kitchen and cook.  Our little AC can only do so much, and no I'm not investing in a BIGGER AC because that just means, a bigger electric bill every month.  So, we have to get a little creative.  This is my favorite type of summery dinner and a perfect meatless dish.  We are trying to eat meatless now once a week (at least) for budgetary and also dietary needs.

But, if you're more carnivore then it's a great side salad to a grilled chicken or steak (I mean, if you're going to be grilling anyway, might as well add the side dishes on there, too)!  Plus, if you're anything like me, your favorite summer foods include grilled vegetables.  Pretty much everything tastes better when its grilled and vegetables are no exception.  The best part of all?  The salad was flavorful enough that I did not hear John utter one word about meat.  That is a successful night people! 

Here's a question for the ages - why do men hog the grills?!  I mean, seriously...what is it about a grill and a man?  A man that will not step foot in the kitchen will happily go out and grill meats outdoors in the hot summer heat.  I just don't get it.  I'm lucky in that John is also great in the kitchen and cooking together is something we enjoy doing.  But, if you have a man that I described above, you can pretty much hand this recipe directly to him!
Grilled Panzanella Salad (adapted from epicurious)
Serves:  4 (2 cups each)
1 red bell pepper, cut in half
1 green bell pepper, cut in half
1 orange bell pepper, cut in half
1 large yellow squash (about 1/2 pound), cut into rounds
1 large zucchini (about 1/2 pound), cut into rounds
1 red onion, cut into rounds
1 sourdough loaf, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, peeled, cut in half

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup basil, chopped

Grill:  Heat the barbecue to medium heat.   Brush both sides of the bell peppers, squash, zucchini, onion, and bread slices lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill vegetables until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.  Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss to combine with salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Grill bread until browned, about 4 minutes, turning often.  Let cool slightly and then rub bread with cut sides of the garlic.  Tear bread into bite-sized pieces.  Add to the grilled vegetables. 
Dressing:  Whisk lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and lemon peel.  Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup oil. 

Salad:  Combine dressing, tomatoes, and basil to the grilled vegetables.  Toss well and let stand about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately
Until the next time my oven is on...


  1. I can so relate! We don't have AC, and I have to wake up very early if I want to turn my oven on! This panzanella salad looks delicious though. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    1. Monet - I cannot believe that you don't have AC either. If I was pregnant in the summer, I would demand AC haha!

  2. I had to smile while reading this post. Some years ago I fired my husband from the grill master position because he kept burning stuff or on the other hand, he wouldn't sear the steaks well enough on the outside. I'm suspicious that he never really wanted to do it, just thought if he didn't he'd be less of a macho man. To make this up to him, I bought him an electric smoker. Everything cooks at a snails pace so he can nap and cook at the same time. Win, win. Your salad looks delicious.


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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