Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Gluten-Free Bread Salad

I don't know why it's been so long since I made bread salad  --> well, there's the gluten thing. That may have something to do with it. But even though I discovered a decent gluten-free baguette several months ago, it only occurred to me recently that I could use the bread to make panzanella.

The gluten-free baguette I use is made by Against the Grain Gourmet. They have a plain (original) baguette and a rosemary version. The rosemary flavor is very subtle and I prefer it to the plain. Against the Grain also makes a good frozen pizza. Yes, the crust is a little different, but it's still good. I like the pesto pizza, which happens to be nut-free (made with sunflower seeds, instead of pine nuts) a bonus at my house since my son is allergic to nuts.

They have a variety of other products that I look forward to trying as well. Check out their web site at Against the Grain Gourmet. In the Portland area, you can find some of their products, including the baguette and pizza (both in the freezer section), at New Seasons Market and Whole Foods.

Now, back to the panzanella. I really don't have an exact recipe for you. Like most salads, I just add this and that until the proportions look and "feel" right. Then I whisk together some dressing (again, I rarely follow a recipe) and we're good to go. For my family, this is an entree, so we make a giant salad and that's it for our dinner.

Mine is not really a traditional panzanella as I include some baby greens, cucumbers, and Parmesan. But I've seen many different versions of this Italian salad in cookbooks and magazines, so I think mine qualifies. Here are the ingredients for the yummy bread salad I made a few nights ago:


Baby lettuces (like the organic baby lettuce mix from Trader Joe's)
Sugar plum tomatoes halved lengthwise (or if you're feeling lazy, leave them whole)
Red onion cut into thin slivers (if you like big chunks of onion, that's fine, but I don't)
English cucumber sliced
Gluten-free baguette (or day-old rustic wheat baguette if gluten is acceptable) cut into cubes
Fresh basil cut into ribbons or torn into small pieces
Parmesan cheese shredded or shaved 

Note: Depending on the size of your salad, this may be more or less dressing than you need, but I wanted to give you some proportions to work with.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp finely minced garlic
2 tsp finely minced red onion
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and some of the basil in a large bowl. Top with the bread cubes and some of the Parmesan cheese.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the salad, specifically the bread cubes. Let the bread soak up some of the olive oil for a couple minutes before you add the dressing and toss well.

4. Top with a little more basil and Parmesan cheese, and serve.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good & something I could even do ;-). I have never had a bread salad well unless you count crutons!