Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella

My Aunt Johnnie brought this Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella salad over to one of our family dinners and we all loved it! I had never tried Panzanella salad before but had been curious about it for a while now. I thought that the bread would get soggy and yucky and that didn’t appeal to me at all. The bread in this salad was delicious and even though it absorbed some of the flavors it still stayed crisp arround the edges. The bread with the fresh tomatoes, artichokes and olives was wonderful! Aunt Johnnie adapted the recipe from one of Giada De Laurentis’.

The ingredients are:

  • 3 cups 1-1/2 inch-cubed Ciabatta bread
  • 2 cans artichoke hearts in water (it looks like halves or quarters)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 large red tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup manzanilla olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  1. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Romaine salad with crispy prosciutto and homemade garlic croutons

I know I post a lot of sweets on my blog (my weakness for sure), but we do eat healthy foods as well. Like everything else in life there has to be balance, right? I do like to bake and make rich foods, but we also eat a lot of stir fry, fish, fruits and veggies. My kids get some kind of fresh fruit in their lunch and some type of fresh veggie with dinner every day. We also love salads and could eat them daily, my daughter even prefers a salad for her school lunch over a sandwich. I’m going to post a couple of salads that I have made recently for you. The first one is a Romaine salad with crispy prosciutto and homemade garlic croutons. I adapted the recipe from one in an Everyday Food magazine.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 loaf of fresh bread with garlic, (I get mine from Costco), cut into chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 9 slices prosciutto
  • 3 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay prosciutto on another baking sheet. Bake until both are golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add romaine, croutons, prosciutto (crumbled), beans, and scallions and toss to combine.

I served this salad with a simple red-wine vinaigrette, (red-wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste). This recipe makes a big salad you could cut this in half or even in a third.

Chicken Salad

 

I wanted to share my recipe for chicken salad. This is a recipe that I make all of the time. When I need to pack a lunch to take out with us I will make a batch and put it in a Tupperware, bring a loaf of bread and take it with us. When I’m having a lunch time gathering and want to make it a little more special I will serve it on crescent rolls. However and whenever it is served everyone loves it and wants to know how I made it.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it is so easy to make. It only takes a few ingredients to whip it up. The grapes give it a touch of sweetness which plays nice with the savory rotisserie chicken. Every time I’m at Costco I try to pick up a rotisserie chicken so that I can make this. The ingredients are:

  • 4 Cups Chopped cooked chicken breast ( from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 Cup Chopped red grapes
  • 1 T. Minced chives
  • 1/4 t. ground pepper
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  1. In a medium bowl mix the chicken, grapes, chives, and pepper. Then add the mayonnaise and mix until combined.
  2. Serve on whichever type of bread your family likes best.

You don’t need to add any extra salt because the rotisserie chicken is already seasoned.