A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: BLT Panzanella Salad

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday: BLT Panzanella Salad

Welcome Wednesday!  Only one day left for us this week as we are flying out east tomorrow night for a belated wedding celebration for my brother and his wife.  Since we'll be traveling for the next few days I wanted to use up some odds and ends in our kitchen so that nothing goes bad while we are away.  It's also a really quick dinner to put together, which is ideal since we are (of course) running around at the last minute preparing for our trip.

It's a great dinner though-- very inexpensive (since you use stale bread and only a few slices of bacon), fast and easy (it took a half hour tops to put everything together), and I love a good salad for dinner on a hot summer evening.

Enjoy the rest of your week and your weekend.  We'll update you on ours when we return!

BLT Panzanella Salad

  • 2 sandwich rolls, cut into 1 inch cubes *bread that is a little stale actually works best
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dry parsley
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Honey Dijon dressing, to taste (recipe below)
Honey Dijon Dressing
  • 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dry parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dry chives
  • Pinch of salt
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.  You may want to add more vinegar or oil depending on the taste.  Serve with BLT Panzanella.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine bread cubes and the following six ingredients through parsley.  Mix well and spread out on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake bread cubes until they are toasted and lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon (two batches will probably work the best) to the pan and cook on both sides until crispy.  Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Once bacon has drained and cooled, chop into 1 inch pieces.

In a large bowl combine croutons, greens, tomatoes, onions, and bacon.  Add dressing in small batches and toss until the salad is thoroughly coated, but not soggy.  You do not want to overdress the salad and you may not use all of the dressing in this recipe.  Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes, toss again, and serve immediately.

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