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Summer Panzanella Salad
by Jamie Vespa on Monday June 27, 2016
Summer Panzanella Salad
Summer panzanella salad filled to the brim with nutritious summer staples including fresh watermelon, golden beets, crispy arugula, herbs and a refreshing lemon dressing. This light and flavorful salad is the epitome of summer entertaining and the ultimate crowd pleaser!
  • 4 cups cubed whole grain ciabatta bread, or crusty bread of choice (best if 1 day old)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4-5 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 golden beets, trimmed and peeled
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup each fresh mint and basil, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

**Lemon Dressing**

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp honey
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil and spread out bread cubes evenly amongst pans. Drizzle ½ tbsp olive oil over each pan of bread and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  2. Wrap beets in microwave-safe parchment paper. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before thinly slicing**
  3. Combine sliced beets, watermelon, red onion, arugula, mint, basil and cheese in a large bowl. Whisk lemon dressing ingredients together until well-combined.
  4. After bread cubes are removed from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes before adding them to salad. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
If you don't have microwave-safe parchment paper on hand, you could also wrap the beets in foil and roast them the same time you're toasting the bread! About 10 minutes will do.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 servings
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 336 Fat: 19 gm Saturated fat: 5 gm Carbohydrates: 25 gm Sugar: 11.5 gm Sodium: 220 mg Fiber: 3 gm Protein: 9 gm Cholesterol: 20 mg

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.