Google+ Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery: Panzanella with Rice Bread Croutons


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Panzanella with Rice Bread Croutons

Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad made of diced vegetables and stale bread croutons.  Typically, the dressing is a vinaigrette, and occasionally the salad will also include cubed cheese.

I love using grilled vegetables in this salad -- the flavor is much more intense, and less dressing is necessary, which is great for our household where we are avoiding vinegar and limiting oil.

My youngest son, the Vegetable Hater (VH), pronounced this salad his "favorite way to eat vegetables," solely because he LOVED the croutons.  To avoid gluten, we used white rice bread, which the boys tend to dislike.  However... I sauteed the bread instead of toasting it and the flavor improved dramatically!  All three boys scarfed down their salads, and even VH combined a bit of veg and a bit of bread in each bite.  When dinner was over, he had consumed more vegetables in one sitting than he had previously eaten all week!

You can grill your veggies indoors or out.  Make sure not to toss the croutons with the vegetables until just before eating, as the rice bread gets soggy extra fast.

Panzanella with Rice Bread Croutons

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 bunch asparagus
1 pint grape tomatoes
six slices white rice bread
olive oil

Slice the zucchini and squash, trim the asparagus, and halve the tomatoes.  Toss with oil and salt to taste.  Grill vegetables and set aside.  (Note: If you are grilling outdoors and do not have a grill basket, the tomatoes will be too small.  In this case, use regular tomatoes cut in half and just grill the cut side.)

Meanwhile, cube the bread and saute the cubes in a little olive oil (in a cast iron pan if you have one).  Rice bread is delicate and tends to crumble easily, so use tongs to flip the croutons individually instead of a spoon to stir the bread around.  It takes a bit longer, but you'll be happier with the results.

Toss veggies and croutons just before serving.  Makes four servings.

(* Note:  This recipe isn't marked as vegan because our brand of rice bread contains honey, but you can easily make it so with a different type of bread.)

Shared at Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts and Gluten-Free Wednesday at The Gluten-Free Homemaker and What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back and Wow Me Wednesday at Polka Dots on Parade and Idea Sharing Wednesday at Women Who Do It All and Whatever You Want Wednesday at Free Pretty Things for You and Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims and Good Life Wednesday at A Beach Cottage and Share the Love Wednesday at Very Merry Vintage Style and Show and Tell Wednesday at Blue Cricket Design and Anything Goes Wednesday at Type A and Success U at The Stuff of Success and What I Made Wednesday at Sweet Peas and Bumblebees and Whisking Wednesday at A Pinch of This That and The Other and These Chicks Cooked at This Chick Cooks and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet and the Exodus 35 Creativity Party at Let Birds Fly and Turning The Table at Around My Family Table and Wellness Weekend at Diet Dessert and Dogs and Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health and Allergy Friendly Friday at Cybele Pascal and Whole Health Weekend at Nourishing Treasures and Weekend Wrap Up at Tater Tots and Jello and Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal and On The Menu Monday at the Stone Gable.


  1. I have never sauteed bread before. It's a great idea for croutons. This sounds really good with the grilled veggies, and I'm glad your VH liked it! Keep trying with the veggies. Their tastes do change as they get older. Usually. :)

  2. Looks delish, we have been grilling up the last of our garden veggies.

  3. Looks yummy. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe at BC Good Life Wednesdays.

  4. This looks so delicious!

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasure's Whole Health Weekend Link-Up.

    Check back on Friday when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  5. How delicious looking! I'll be featuring your recipe tomorrow :)