There are two things we absolutely love in the world of food right now: the smoky, summery aroma of grilling and being surrounded by fresh, bright produce. Thanks to Shelly from Vegetarian Ventures, we’ve found both of these wonderful things all packed into one deliciously healthy recipe!
If you haven’t heard of Panzanella before, not to fret. A bread-and-salad dish originating in Tuscany, panzanella typically consists of bread soaked in your favorite flavors and grilled to perfection, mixed with tomatoes and other light summer veggies. This is the perfect recipe to make from bread that’s going stale, mixed with fresh-picked garden vegetables galore.
Even better- it’s super simple. Prepping the veggies and bread on the grill gives this salad that superbly smoky flavor that so reminds us of breezy summer nights eating outdoors. This Pretzel Panzanella recipe uses red wine vinegar and mustard as the main sources of flavor, working wonderfully with the saltiness of the pretzel bread. If you’re looking for something sweeter, try Shelly’s Grilled Maple-Bourbon-Glazed Panzanella from last summer, complete with grilled peaches and a sweet maple dressing.
GRILLED PRETZEL PANZANELLA SALAD
- 1 loaf of pretzel bread (store bought or homemade), sliced in half lengthwise like you are cutting sandwich bread to put topping between the two pieces
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into one inch chunks
- 1 red onion, sliced thick (or into one inch thick chunks)
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced into one inch thick chunks
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves
- 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
- Salt / Pepper
Prepare your grill in your usual fashion (charcoal or gas grill is fine). Transfer the bell pepper, onion, and cherry tomatoes to a grill basket. Use a tablespoon of olive oil to spread over the bread on both sides and coat the basket vegetables with 1/4 cup olive oil. Once your grill is ready (you want it to be hot but not so hot that everything will burn right away), add the basket to the grill and let the vegetables cook until the tomatoes are almost ready to burst and the veggies have brown spots all over them, making sure to stir the vegetables frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
Place the pieces of bread on the outer edges of the grill (once it has cooled a bit and not as hot as it was with the vegetables) and let cook for just 30 seconds or so on each side, paying careful attention to check often to prevent burning. The time for this is going to vary greatly since your grill is going to be a different temperature than mine so be mindful to watch it closely to avoid over-cooking the bread. Remove from grill and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut into 1 inch thick pieces and add to the grilled vegetables. Add in the diced cucumber.
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the remaining olive oil while whisking constantly until emulsified. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy!
*Salad can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time.
**If you don’t have a grill basket then grill your vegetables in large chunks and slice smaller once they are finished grilling.
About Vegetarian Ventures
Vegetarian Ventures is a vegetarian food blog that shares vegetarian and vegan recipes with a twist of adventure and inspiration. Shelly is a 20-something year old, fresh out of college who lives in the heart (if you’d like to call it something of that kind) of the Midwest. She works with indie-rock music by day and blogs by night.
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How did this recipe go for you? Have you tried Panzanella before? Enlighten us in the comments below!
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